Little Rock & Rolling Blanche Lincoln

I figured since I gave NY some love, I might do the same for AR which, although more in my old neck of the woods, isn’t any less of a mystery. I do know that Blanche Lincoln’s primary fight is one to watch. CQ Politics has a nice read on the situation, pitting the incumbency of Lincoln against Labor’s backing of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, an unusually strong candidate from Little Rock whom I support. I don’t know what will happen in the general, mostly because Arkansas tends to suffer from a slightly milder strain of Wingnuttus Ad Nauseum than OK, but Bill Halter should be the one taking on the Republican candidate in the Fall.

Lincoln shouldn’t need any introduction for those who followed the health care bill ACA “debate”. Her cowardly kowtowing to Big Health was only one of many ugly displays from the Blue Dog Group but it was a doozy. In fact, she nearly attained Lieberman-like status in her crusade for ego-stroking. Her recent return to Earth on the subject of financial reform doesn’t change the fact that she was a royal pain in the ass while she could have been helping solidify Democratic gains in Arkansas by touting the benefits of health reform. The anti-incumbent mania sweeping the country, misguided though most of it may be, does have some merits. Blue Dogs (or as I like to call them: Republicans) like Blanche Lincoln need to be reminded that they might have less primary challenges if they stood on principle.The derivatives package is great news but her behavior during the health care fight deserves a wake-up call.

As it stands, Halter is in a good position to force a runoff. The guy seems about as progressive as we’re likely to get from AK (he’s also a former Clinton appointee) and, like Markos, I believe in more and better Democrats. If Lincoln ends up pulling off a win, then I think Republicans have a good chance of toppling her in November. She still has the statewide problem that plagues likely Republican nominee John Boozman: support for the Wall St. bailout. Halter offers an outsider’s advantage against Boozman, who has a primary fight of his own, though not quite so arduous. With the added campaigning of a runoff, Halter could well go on to hold the seat while simultaneously offering a modicum of change for AK and the country. It would also be a huge win for Labor which, as CQ points out, has gone out on a limb for him.

If you have a few bucks, why not throw them his way? Heck, he’s already out-raised Lincoln and he only declared on March 1st. Let’s make AK blue instead of purple. Maybe Blanche’s help with the financial overhaul can help shore up her legacy.

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