Favorite

Democrats will win 


Four people whose jobs are to keep up with politics told the members of the Political Animals Club last week that the Democrats are going to win in Arkansas Nov. 7. They were Ann Clemmer, who teaches government at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, and three newspapermen — Bill Simmons of the Democrat-Gazette, David Sanders of the Stephens papers and Warwick Sabin of the Arkansas Times.

Clemmer is a Republican, Sanders sort of leans that way, Sabin likes liberal politicians and Simmons has been reporting politics so long he really doesn’t care who wins. Most Arkansans usually support Democrats and surely will next week because of the status of the unpopular Iraq war.

Sabin said there was a possibility that Republican Jim Holt might defeat Democrat Bill Halter for lieutenant governor. Sabin said the reason was because some people simply didn’t like Halter. That really got my attention.

Holt may have made some haters of Halter with his constant complaint that Halter hasn’t spent all of his life in Arkansas. Well, Halter was born in Little Rock, went to schools in North Little Rock and Little Rock. He was working in a Kroger store in North Little Rock when he got a National Merit Scholarship to go to Stanford University.

He got a straight-A record that got him a Harry S. Truman Scholarship and a Rhodes Scholarship, which allowed him to go to Oxford in England, one of the world’s finest colleges. He had three years at Oxford, toured Europe and came back to the United States to start working.

With his knowledge, he managed to get good jobs with the government in Washington. “I remember Bill as a fountain of information,” said former Sen. David Pryor. When his mother became very sick, Halter came back to North Little Rock to help her until she died. He worked in Arkansas helping Clinton’s bid for president, and when Clinton won he offered Halter a job in the Office of Management and Budget, where he stayed for six years, advising the president on economic conditions and helping the Clinton administration change the country from a $290 billion deficit to more than a $100 billion surplus.

Later he moved into Social Security when the Senate unanimously voted him to the office of deputy commissioner, a job he held during the beginning of President Bush’s administration. Halter now is on the boards of several corporations and is a trustee emeritus of Stanford. He’s now married, back in Arkansas, wanting one day to be its governor. He decided that Mike Beebe was sure to win this year, so, at age 45, he decided to try for governor in the future.

It startles many to think that Holt might beat Halter. Holt, 41, lives in Springdale, and has no other job except being in the state Senate. He and his wife have nine children. Holt went to college awhile and then served in the Army, where he learned to speak Russian. He is an elder at the Bible Grace Fellowship Church in Springdale and was ordained a Southern Baptist minister 10 years ago. Promoting him are the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Arkansas Right to Life.

Even some Republicans don’t like Holt because he often betrays the party, such as casting the only no vote in the Senate against raising the state’s minimum wage.

In the governor’s race, the other person I want to win next Tuesday is Mike Beebe. A lawyer, he had been in the state Senate for nine years, and in 2002 was elected attorney general. He’s been a good one, and when he was in the legislature he was the father of better schools, the state’s greatest need. Beebe has never had any one run against him.

But now he has an opponent — Asa Hutchinson, who, after attending Bob Jones University, becoming a lawyer and owning a religious radio station, started running for offices, losing some but winning a seat in Congress. Later President Bush appointed him to head the Drug Enforcement Administration and later he became undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Hutchinson is a friendly man and was thought to be a good Arkansan. But it was strange that he volunteered to lead the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the first president from Arkansas. Of course Hutchinson failed to present a case sufficient for conviction. If he hadn’t, Arkansas would have been only the second state in America that had a president thrown out of the White House.

But a real Arkansan, former Sen. Dale Bumpers, came forward and convinced the U.S. Senate not to convict Clinton, because he had not harmed the nation by his sexual contact with a young woman working in the White House. Seventy percent of Americans didn’t want Clinton to be removed from office, Bumpers told the senators: “Sure, you say, he should have thought it all out beforehand, and indeed he should, just as Adam and Eve should have. Just as you and you and you and millions of other people who have been caught in similar circumstances should have thought of it before. As I say, none of us are perfect.”

I wonder what Asa Hutchinson thought when he saw a Wall Street Journal poll of 3,680 Americans who said they thought Clinton was the fifth president they most admired after Lincoln, Reagan, Washington and Roosevelt?


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Robert McCord

  • The man behind the camera

    Newspaper photographers never get much money or attention. I know because I got my first job as one in the 1940s. In 1957, a guy named Will Counts learned it when he made the best pictures of the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School.
    • Oct 4, 2007
  • A straw poll

    Max Brantley took the week off. In his place, Robert McCord writes about presidential politics.
    • Mar 15, 2007
  • NLR: Second city no more.

    A long-time North Little Rock resident muses on the arrival of a former governor and current lieutenant governor and looks back at hometowns of governors and presidential contenders from Arkansas.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Bob McCord

  • NLR: Second city no more.

    A long-time North Little Rock resident muses on the arrival of a former governor and current lieutenant governor and looks back at hometowns of governors and presidential contenders from Arkansas.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • Parting thoughts

    This column is kind of a difficult one for me, and I will tell you why at the end. I have written some things that I believe would make Arkansas a better and more prosperous state.
    • Nov 23, 2006
  • On the winning side

    There were a lot of interesting things that happened all over in the country and in Arkansas at last week’s voting. For the first time I had more winners than losers, and...
    • Nov 16, 2006
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Stay the course

    I am frustrated and angry with those who claim the only chance of future success is for the Democratic Party, especially in the South and Midwest, to abandon speaking directly to women and people of color and the LGBT community and instead focus on the economy and other "more comfortable" topics in order to win back some of the center.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Reality TV prez

    • Far from being the people's choice, Trump eked out the narrowest electoral win in U.S…

    • on December 8, 2016
  • Re: Kids count, not confidentiality

    • Public awareness saves lives
      Confidentiality kills children

    • on December 8, 2016
  • Re: Worth it

    • And loyal, to a fault.

    • on December 6, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation