Ouch! Keet Mailer Goes Out With Education Error
This is a scan of a part of the card that Republican candidate for Governor Jim Keet sent out all over the state. Notice under the education section it says he wants to "inpower" parents rather than "empower" them.
In what is bound to be a Republican year, Keet has not been able to get any traction. Bebee has high approval ratings which he has earned as a politician, but not (IMHO) as an actual policy maker. I find the dynamics of the race interesting, if not the race itself.
The mantra I heard among the Republican decision makers was that they needed to get the business community back on their side, and to do that they needed to find candidates who were not motivated by religious convictions to a true-believer conservative world-view on social issues. The trouble was, many of their current and prominent former office holders did not fit their desired template. They were looking for secular business types for candidates, and none were stepping forward for the suicide run against Beebe.
Later on, as the situation got desperate, I understand they did appeal to at least one Christian Conservative candidate to make the run, but were turned down. I can't say as I blame those potential candidates. A trust issue was probably involved. To whit, no likely candidate in the CC camp was going to believe there was even the remotest chance that the state GOP would get behind them with the energy and resources necessary for a serious challenge to Beebe. Instead, the fear would be that the GOP would leave them twisting in the wind to take an embarrassing beating just so long as the GOP got the 3% of the vote needed to maintain ballot access. Then after the loss the party hacks would once again blame the Christian candidate as "too extreme" for holding positions that 70% of the voters, but few in the ruling class, share.
Well, Keet did step forward in the end. He is definitely more from the business "country club" side of the Republican party, but he was out of the state for a long time and his roots were not deep. Consequently, he is not getting a strong base of support from what should be his base in the GOP. The boys from the country club don't seem anxious to knock on doors or distribute yard signs for Jim Keet. In fact, they are not even writing checks to pay for the yard signs. He is being left to twist by the establishment side of the party almost as badly as the CC candidates have been in the past (even when they could win). It turns out only true-believers write checks when the odds are against you. To the calculating, long shot campaigns are not a good investment, even if the candidate sees the world like you do.
In order to have an actual state wide campaign, it seems that Keet has had to turn to populist conservative groups like Secure Arkansas. He is singing their tune on illegal aliens, and in return they seem to be getting behind his campaign with enthusiasm. He has had to go outside the GOP to get himself a campaign apparatus. There is probably a lesson in there somewhere for ambitious would-be politicians, but I'll let them figure those lessons out for themselves.