Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hillary's visit to not-blue Arkansas: Something old, something new

Posted By on Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 7:10 AM

click to enlarge HAIL HILLARY: Democratic Chair Vince Insalaco joins Hillary Clinton and volunteers for the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Saturday night.
  • HAIL HILLARY: Democratic Chair Vince Insalaco joins Hillary Clinton and volunteers for the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Saturday night.

Arkansas Democrats
turned out in solid numbers Saturday night for Hillary Clinton's headline appearance at an Arkansas Democratic Party fund-raiser. If luck holds for Democrats, she won't insult an American POW today, as the Arkansas Republican Party's headliner, Donald Trump, did hours after his Arkansas appearance to great GOP huzzahs.

A couple of scraps from the evening with Clinton.

Candace Martin, director of the party, distributed the photo above of the dinner's volunteer crew with the presidential candidate. I'd met a couple of the young women Friday night at an unrelated event. They were beyond excited about the coming evening. One, a Mississippian, recounted how she'd grown up in a household where Hillary was near deity. In Mississippi.

Youthful enthusiasm is a good thing. Don't know if it was similarly in evidence at the GOP event or not. Hillary, 67, did say Democrats were the party of the future.

Then, on the down side, I got this note from a friend who attended Clinton's appearance:

At Jefferson Jackson dinner tonight, number of times Obama's name mentioned—once, by Hillary. Number of times LGBT rights mentioned. 0. This is still Arkansas. I guess it's par for the course. Hillary's speech was good, though.

I'll say it, discordant as it might sound in a state transformed nearly overnight from Democratic to Republican control by enmity toward the black president. President Obama has been a transformative leader with a remarkable string of successes.  But, yes, this is Arkansas. He's not on the ballot in 2016, but Republicans still will fill the void of mention of him by the Democrats for at least one more election cycle. Maybe more. Hell, they're still waving the Confederate flag. (UPDATE: Pam Bradford, the Republican clerk in Van Buren County, who's been mewling for days about the same-sex marriage ruling and its damage to traditional marriage (she's had several of them herself to show her devotion to the tradition), has substituted a Razorback hog for the Rebel flag she had used as a profile photo on her Facebook page.)

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