Thursday, January 28, 2010
Job Openings in Washington
The death rattle of Senator Blanche Lincoln's pith-poorly orchestrated campaign for reelection has sent a few ripples into the Third Congressional District. Her astronomical unfavorable ratings, combined with bone-headed votes and public statements that almost seem designed to alienate the Democratic party base, make her look like easy pickings for a serious challenger and within the realm of probability for opponents that normally would not be taken seriously.
The sad new for Democrats is that she will be their nominee, despite her disdain for the President and the party platform. Lt. Governor Bill Halter could have taken her out in a primary, but that was not to be. Governor Beebe and the party establishment have been in the tank for Lincoln forever and have shunned Halter at every opportunity. Now, with Congressman Vic Snyder retiring, a discount ticket to Washington is available for purchase, and Halter will likely make a bid. More later on what that would mean for a Lt. Governor contest and why anyone with good sense would possibly want the job.
The impact on local political doings comes from our own Republican Robot, John Boozman, looking at an easy shot for a six-year term in the Senate, a real attraction for a fellow who does not appear to enjoy having to campaign and make conversation with ordinary voters. He will first have to get by a primary with a dozen other mediocre candidates and probably a run-off with State Senator Gilbert Baker. Some think real estate tycoon, apartment slumlord, and farm subsidy welfare king Jim Lindsey will buy his way in, but I am not among them.
Boozman's candidacy would open the floodgates of pent up political ambition among every obnoxious little twit who ever sought public office in Benton County. First among them will be Rogers Mayor Steve Womack, who will be unable to resist spoiling his inner demagogue and reporting the true feelings of his corporate sponsors. It is also possible that State Senator Kim Hendren, failed gubernatorial candidate and father of a failed Congressional candidate, will retreat from the Senate race and take a shot at the AR3 slot, fueled by his personal fortune from an out of state car dealership. Retired General and Teabagger Bernard Skoch is already announced and should stay. Asa Hutchinson, a Loser in races for Benton County JP and U.S. Senate and Governor and Attorney General, would like to move back to Arkansas and be back in the only office he ever won, but he will decide against having to defend his sorry record on the federal dole.
On the Democratic side, Fayetteville attorney David Whitaker appears to have a clear field for a run. A couple of years ago, Don Nelms made some noise about running as an independent, but friends report that he is too happy and very comfortable pursuing his dreams in Newton County to make another campaign. That should give Whitaker some relief, as he can spend the next seven months raising money while his opponents will be spending the next four months spending their own money and wondering why the party faithful are putting out only for Senate candidates.
Green Party candidate Abel Tomlinson will likely be distracted by his own foray into the judicial branch instead of the legislative campaign. I think some guy in Rogers is running as an independent, but I can't remember his name, and that's just as well.
That's all I know, but I warn you against getting your hopes up that the citizens will have much say in the outcome. Just sit back and see who Walmart buys and elects to be their new puppet. That should be clear in late April when the quarterly purchase orders are reported to the Federal Election Commission.