Monday, March 1, 2010

World's Most Endangered Senator Gets Primary Challenge

And about damn time:

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter made it official this morning, announcing he'll challenge Sen. Blanche Lincoln for the Democratic Senate nomination in Arkansas.

. . .

Halter could have a significant advantage in a general election Lincoln would not -- the support of national progressives and the Netroots. Lincoln's voting record over the past year has drawn the ire of national leaders on the left, who objected to her opposition to so-called "card check" legislation and the inclusion of a public option in health care reform. For months, progressive groups have been on the ground in Arkansas, building an organization to help a defeat Lincoln in a primary while urging Halter to run.

And more to the point, Lincoln is almost certainly going to lose by at least 60%/40% if she gets the nomination. There's no evidence Halter will do any better, except that his popularity in his home state is considerably higher than Lincoln's. On the other hand, he certainly can't do any worse- and if he pulls off the miracle twice, beating Lincoln in the primary and beating the Republican (probably Rep. Jon Boozman- yes, that really is his name), then the Democrats will have traded in a Blue Dog Republican-in-All-But-Name for a moderate liberal. agrees, and has come out for Halter.

MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben said in a statement they consider Lincoln "one of the worst corporate Democrats in Washington."

"With Bill Halter, our Arkansas members see a candidate who will stand up to special interests. Arkansans deserve someone who'll fight for them, not Wall Street," Ruben said.

And it probably says everything that needs to be said about what's wrong with the Obama presidency that he's backing the incumbent, Lincoln.


Jobe said...

As an Arkansan, I can say this: The instant Lincoln cast the vote that allowed the health care "reform" to be discussed, she put the final nail in her coffin here in Arkansas. She will not be our Senator after the General Election.

You think she has a chance, but as an Arkansan, I can tell you she has no chance. She's voted too many times with the far Left nuts. Her constituents aren't very far left or nuts.

Ask me to explain how politics divides here in Arkansas sometime. I'll tell you now, it's not Democrat/Republican.

Kris Overstreet said...

Excuse me? At what point in the post did I say Blanche Lincoln has a chance in hell come the general election?

She's through- but not because she's liberal. She's through because she's a moderate, leaning conservative, and as such she's alienated too much of her base to counter the strong and incredibly motivated Republican base.

Halter, at least, has the enthusiasm of the left behind him (for the moment) and enough personal popularity in the state to give the Democrats a prayer (if not much more) of holding this seat- and if they don't, nothing lost, because Lincoln surely is NOT going to win, PERIOD.

And as for Arkansas... the one thing I bear in mind here is that the strongest state for the Green Party, the radical liberal third party that doesn't have Socialist somewhere in the name... is Arkansas. Their highest vote percentages are in that state, and (thanks to there being no opposition) they actually have a member elected to the state legislature. There IS a liberal base in the state that could be brought out... but NOT for Blanche Lincoln, who has burned her bridges with those voters in a (failed) attempt to appear conservative enough to appease Republican voters who were never going to vote for her anyway.

Jobe said...

I apologize. For some strange reason, I thought you were saying Lincoln had a hope in Hell of keeping her seat in the Senate.

That said, Arkansas is not a liberal state by any stretch of the imagination, especially rural Arkansas (of which the state is mostly).

In the state of Arkansas, we like Democrats, but we DON'T like far Left Democrats. The thing is, if you hold office at the county level or higher in the state of Arkansas, you're a Democrat because the Republicans can't get traction in the state (Even Huckabee as governor didn't help the GOP in the state). Republicans aren't even the friends of Big Business in Arkansas. Democrats are. Sam Walton of Wal-Mart was a Democrat.

Halter doesn't need the Left behind him to win. He needs Rural Arkansas behind him. Blanche forgot her constituents are mostly rural Arkansans that need things like actual health care reform as opposed to health insurance reform. We don't give a damn about health insurance. Just make it where we can afford to go to the doctor when we're sick.

If the Lefties that want Halter in office are smart, they'll shut the Hell up and let Halter woo rural Arkansas and get their votes to win.