Halter v. Lincoln | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Halter v. Lincoln

Posted By on Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 7:35 AM

Brummett's back on the topic of Bill Halter as a tool of out-of-state liberals and, to a lesser degree, Blanche Lincoln as the snap-on tool of corporate interests. But in the end he gets to an interesting question of great currency in political chat (though not necessarily the public at large).

Finally, there’s this: Arkansas politics has always been a cult of personality in which we favor candidates because they are likable even if we might not agree with them philosophically. Bumpers, Pryor, Clinton. You know.

So how shall I say this? Let me do so delicately: I don’t find many people who like Halter. The only Halter buddy coming to mind, altogether oddly, is Jim Keet, the new Republican candidate for governor.

Want to see Mike Beebe’s face scrunch up? Walk up to him and say, “Bill Halter.”

Most of the state’s establishment Democrats see Halter as cold, audacious, imperious, arrogant and presumptuous, breezing back into the state as he did a couple of years ago to spend his personal wealth on political office and explain to us that he, being a Rhodes Scholar and all, is smarter than we are, a transformational rather than merely transactional figure, and that, without him, we’d never have had sense enough to tap our suckers for the easy money of a lottery to help our kids go to college.

Bill Halter today is the same person (love or hate) who ran away with the lieutenant governor's race over establishment political figures four years ago. His TV advertising will define his personality in the next few weeks far more than any contact with Arkansas voters. On TV, he'll bag groceries, trot out his old football coach, drive a pickup and otherwise blanket the state with the message that he's one of us (whatever that is). That said, personality does count. It remains Lincoln's strongest -- some might say only -- recommendation for re-election.

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