Favorite

Holiday ups and downs 


Here they are, the arrows of summer’s unofficial arrival, offered annually at this juncture for a couple of reasons. One is the demand for an extra advance column because of the long holiday weekend. But it so happens that the pending matter of runoffs in state primaries makes the reliable staple potentially timely and topical.

UPMike Beebe — His main challenge is overconfidence. Well, there’s also the fact that this governor’s race is still not really engaged. His support is soft and parts will have to be fortified. He has the money. He’ll need to spend it wisely and well.

DOWNAsa Hutchinson — Having Jim Holt as what amounts to a running mate might not marginalize him, since Arkansas voters are famous for considering candidates independently without a hint of partisan logic. But Holt certainly won’t help him in the vital task to get to the mainstream center, which is hard enough already for the Bob Jones University graduate and impeachment prosecutor of Bill Clinton. Hutchinson’s pandering to substandard schools is transparent and, for the moment, inconsequential. 

UP Bill Halter — He spent that fortune for a fallback job and got a tepid 40 percent, less outside Pulaski County. Democrats thinking strategically with their runoff votes might see his more conservative opponent, Tim Wooldridge, as the better general election matchup against the frightful Holt. But people tend not to vote strategically, and the AFL-CIO endorsement gives Halter a grassroots constituency to go with his financial advantages and soft, media-influenced support. 

DOWN Tim Wooldridge — He needs a stealth runoff driven by the higher motivations of his regional and religious base. Moderate and liberal Democrats would be horrified if they knew of his bill to bring back public hanging and of his general social conservatism. Central Arkansas voters would be resentful if they were informed that he voted for that bill to let Deltic Timber threaten the water supply. Maybe Halter, who has vowed not to go negative, could cite that ever-nuanced distinction between “negative” and “comparative” politics, and cut loose. 

UP Jim Holt — He keeps winning Republican primaries without spending money. He’s a force, in the way a dark cloud is a force. He doesn’t believe in government. He doesn’t support public education. He wants to take science out of the science textbooks. He wants to be mean to illegal immigrants. His only good idea — and it’s a great one — is to bar legislators from accepting even a cup of coffee from lobbyists. His largely underground campaign slithers on, threatening to put Arkansas within a heartbeat of a government that would be half theocracy and half anarchy. And the more people like me say things like that, the more determined become his fanatics. 

DOWN Dustin McDaniel — He had the Northeast Arkansas base. He had the backing of a bevy of former Arkansas Bar Association presidents. He had the billboards with the gun and black Lab and he had the slogan that he would protect our families — from something. And he got 37 percent, running a distant third in central Arkansas. 

UP Paul Suskie — Actually, he didn’t impress either. Take his home county out of it, or give him a home county that happens not to be the state’s biggest, and he might be endorsing Robert Herzfeld, rather than the other way around. But he does have Herzfeld’s backing, and the appearance of momentum. 

DOWN Charlie Daniels — Election glitches were not his fault. His choice of an equipment contractor remains defensible. But the glitches and the nepotism and the old-boy reputation will begin to add up. He is not so lucky this time as to have Janet Huckabee as his opponent.

UP Jim Lagrone — Not Janet Huckabee.






Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by John Brummett

  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • Can we talk? Can we get anywhere?

    Dialogue is good. It would be even better if someone would venture off script every once in a while.
    • Sep 21, 2011
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in John Brummett

  • Gone to the DoG

    We're now longer carrying John Brummett's column in this space.
    • Oct 12, 2011
  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

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

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Pay attention

    • I have attended community meetings about the recent spike in violence in LR, and police…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Adawson's comments attribute the plight of black people in the United States to the War…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Heather Wilson, blacks have NOT been prevented from pursuing the skilled trades as a result…

    • on July 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation