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Monday, July 30, 2012

Does Mike Beebe matter in November election?

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 5:57 AM

FOND FAREWELL?: Gov. Beebes enjoyment of his last two years could depend on his coattails.
  • FOND FAREWELL?: Gov. Beebe's enjoyment of his last two years could depend on his coattails.
John Lyon of Stephens Media writes of the Arkansas Democratic Party's hope to use Gov. Mike Beebe's coattails to help other Democratic candidates in the fall.

Will he help? Even Beebe himself sounds uncertain.

“You know, you never know,” he said. “All I can do is the best I can.”

The Republican Party of Arkansas, meanwhile, will again make the election all about President Barack Obama. Never accuse them of overestimating the Arkansas voter.

If rational decision-making was an issue, Beebe would be more important. He'll lead the state in 2013 and 2014. Barack Obama will have little influence on the Arkansas agenda or legislature. If voters really do want a working government, they'd do better to return people willing to work with Beebe, who carried every county in 2010, rather than reactionary bomb throwers intent on overturning government as we know it, based on their newly adopted platform. Not for Republican legislative candidates the cautiously moderate Beebe's approach to consensus governance.

Beebe says it will come down to the candidates.

“Arkansans will default to the R or to the D depending on what’s going on, depending on the mood of the people, if they don’t know the candidate well enough to feel like they’re going to vote for or against the candidate,” he said.

This is where fervor — and money — come in. The Republican candidates come generally from the 'bagger ranks, with well-defined rallying cries popular among a segment of motivated voters. By-the-numbers candidacies in opposition aren't likely to succeed without matching fervor. And then there's the Koch money, poised to be spent in huge sums to smear Democratic candidates with mass mailings ranging from disingenuous to dishonest, all bearing the picture of that radical Islamist from Kenya or Hawaii or wherever Hussein is from.

If the Democratic Party loses the majority in November, Mike Beebe has a long two years ahead of him.

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