Let me start off with Brummett because he is not quite as emphatic as Cook. (Brantley has jumped in there too.) (Leftwing blogger Blue Arkansas is thrilled by this news too.)
So with Arkansas famous for political eccentricity that defies the conventional wisdom ruling everywhere else, and even with Barack Obama at the head of the ticket dragging down Arkansas Democrats everywhere, there is a certain semi-logical basis for hope among Democrats.
Republican Rick Crawford got elected there last year in spite of himself and because of:
—The tea party revolt and general antipathy toward Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
—The retirement of Democratic incumbent Marion Berry.
—The emergence as Berry’s would-be successor on the Democratic side of a young congressional aide named Chad Causey, who was a satisfactory candidate but not a particularly strong one.
It is possible that the revulsion over health care reform has subsided a bit. Even Republican pollsters will admit that, while indicators still favor their further gains in Arkansas, the intensity of voter anger is less than in 2010.
Another thing: Congressional redistricting has extended the 1st District southward through the Mississippi River-adjoining Delta all the way to the Louisiana line. That’s a demographic advantage for Democrats, considering the heavy African-American population.
So now Crawford, a farm radio guy transplanted from Missouri and who has a little personal bankruptcy on his resume, could be in for a battle.
I heard Michael Cook say on the Talk Business episode of October 16, 2011 that he expects the Democrats to take back the First Congressional District and Rick Crawford will be an one term congressman. I don’t think that will happen like he thinks. President Obama is the gift that keeps on giving here in Arkansas. Why else are all the Democrats getting beat? Below are some thoughts from the blog Red Arkansas:
Today we turn to The Tolbert Report for the latest news on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s fishing expedition for a challenger for Rep. Tim Griffin’s Second Congressional District seat.
You may remember Mr. Griffin who enraged the left so much that the Arkansas Times’ Max Brantley was forced to publish a crudely-drawn cartoon to bolster Sen. Joyce Elliott to an eventual 20-point loss, and the DCCC’s man in Little Rock, Rep. Clark Hall, couldn’t hold things together during the Fayetteville Finger debate and ended up making AR-02 even more Republican.
According to Tolbert, the DCCC was rebuked by state Rep. John C. Edwards of Little Rock in their effort to recruit him to run against Congressman, Iraqi War Veteran and Army Reserve Major Griffin.
“I have no plans to run for Congress in 2012,” said Edwards. “I am running for another term in the Arkansas House. Earlier this year, I was contacted by the DCCC and told them the same thing.”
In case you haven’t heard of the Iraqi War Veteran and National Guard JAG Corps Colonel (hmmm… that resume sounds familiar), Mr. Edwards defeated Republican Kelly Eichler in 2008 by a whopping 78 votes. He got a pass in 2010.
Mr. Edwards’ previous electoral claim-to-fame was finishing a distant third to Mark Stodola in the 1996 AR-02 Democratic Primary. Mr. Edwards also finished third in the key Democratic area of Pulaski County, trailing Mr. Stodola by nearly 11,000 votes.
So… really? This is the one of the best the DCCC could come up with?
Now that we can scratch Mr. Edwards off the list, here is a list of other would-be Democratic hopefuls that have taken a pass:
- David Boling, former Chief of Staff to Rep. Vic Snyder — who took a foundation job in DC.
- North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hayes — who has said no.
- State Sen. David Johnson – who is running for re-election in 2012.
This leaves the man who makes Max Brantley come down with a case of the vapors: Surgeon General Joe Thompson, and the man who makes the AFL-CIO have a collective erection for more than four hours: former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.
Mr. Thompson, whom we hear is looking at throwing his hat in the ring at least a couple of years from now, is now in the middle of selling Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges at the traveling roadshow put together by Gov. Mike Beebe, and that might be to tough a sell in a state so vehemently opposed to President Obama’s health care law.
Mr. Halter? Well, we all know who how Arkansas Democrats feel about him.
According to Roby Brock, the DCCC’s man in Little Rock–Clark Hall–looks like he will avail himself of the opportunity created by the Fayetteville Finger situation and challenge Rep. Rick Crawford in AR-01.
No word on whether Mr. Hall’s “granddaughter’s color crayons” were used to design his campaign logo much like they were allegedly used to create the new lines for the First District.