Thursday, December 10, 2009

Halter to Challenge Lincoln?

The Tolbert Report alerted readers yesterday to the news that Lt. Governor Bill Halter met with numerous political bloggers on the subject of mounting a primary challenge to Senator Blanche Lincoln.

The move highlights the growing power of bloggers in politics, especially for candidates who are either outsiders (which Halter isn't re: Washington politics, but IS in the politics of Arkansas) or challenging incumbents. The blogs are the cutting edge against the establishment. Remember, everything you hear on broadcast media, including FOX News, is coming from an entity with a license from the federal government. There is only so far they dare go. FOX for example, won't touch the issue of Barak Obama's eligibility, except to occasionally attack those questioning it. This despite the unwelcome but easily demonstrable truth that Obama is not constitutionally eligible to serve in the office he now occupies.

Lincoln is terribly unpopular, and I can see a scenario where she just takes her multi-million dollar war chest, the tainted rewards of years of selling out the people of this state to monied special interests, and go home (that is to where she lives in Virginia, not that empty house in east Arkansas). It may be that the insiders decide that no amount of money can rescue Lincoln's image or smear her opponent enough to buy her another term. In that case, look for Lincoln to bow out and Halter to get the nod. My hunch is he has been itching to get back to DC anyway.

Another thought occurred to me, if former Sen. Jim Holt jumps in the race and wins his third state-wide primary then no matter what we will have a re-match. If against Lincoln, I would say the winds have shifted against her. Events proved Holt to be in the right on the major issue of that campaign- did we need a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution to preserve marriage or was the so-called "defense of marriage act" enough. Holt argued the former, Lincoln that latter. Homosexual marriage, though consistently voted down by the people, has been insidiously creeping into American life ever since.

If he runs against Halter, then I would say this time Halter would be the one with an unpopular President dragging down the whole ticket. In the closing weeks of the 06 campaign Holt expressed his frustration to me in his efforts to move swing voters, "they are all mad at Bush" he reported. His usual magic at winning people over once they heard him out could not overcome that anger.

There is another factor. In early October it became clear that the Republican's best chance to win a state wide office was the Lt. Governors race. Conversely, the Democrats only chance to lose was that race. They dumped in $250,000 in advertising to smear Holt and back their guy. The Holt campaign (including me) appealed to the Republican Chairman to help us like the Dems helped their candidate in the closest race. The Chairman, who a few minutes before was bragging that he just brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars from Washington for the Party, said there was nothing he could do. That Chairman? Gilbert Baker. One cannot help but wonder if even then he had his eye on Lincoln's seat, and was not anxious to support anyone who could be a future rival for it.

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