AR-Sen: Ex-Prez To Campaign With Soon-To-Be-Ex-Senator

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    Former President Bill Clinton will apparently be in Arkansas on May 28 to campaign on behalf of Sen. Lincoln during her “Countdown To Victory” tour.  The campaign even released a play-at-home version of everyone’s favorite game, “Spot The Spin!,” to announce the big news.  Let’s play along!

    Little Rock—After winning a popular vote victory in the Arkansas Democratic Primary Election, U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln announced today that she would launch her “Countdown to Victory” tour with President Bill Clinton on May 28 in the Little Rock-North Little Rock area.

    Spin #1. Technically, she scored a popular vote plurality.  “[P]opular vote victory” in the primary would most accurately refer to a candidate who reached the magical 50%+1, which Ms. Lincoln did not.

    Details will be announced at a later date.

    “I’m extremely grateful for President Clinton’s support in this campaign and look forward to our ‘Countdown to Victory’ kickoff event,” Sen. Lincoln said.

    “Blanche is fighting the special interests and standing up for Arkansas,” President Clinton said.

    Spin #2.  Ms. Lincoln is a top recipient from the following industries during the 2005 – 2010 election cycle: Agricultural Services (#1); Auto dealers, new & used (#1); Crop Production (#1); Dairy (#1); Food Process/Sales (#1); Forest Products (#1); Meat processing & products (#1); Oil & Gas (#1); Poultry & Eggs (#1); Railroads (#1); Retail Sales (#1); Sugar cane & sugar beets (#1); Trucking (#1); Commercial TV & radio stations (#2); Health Services (#2); Electric Utilities (#3); Natural Gas transmission & distribution (#3); Student loan companies (#3).

    Clever strategy, really, fighting against special interests by taking a ton of money from them.  And that vote against the fixes package that contained student loan reform provisions?  That’s some sneaky fighting, Ms. Lincoln.

    “She has written the toughest Wall Street reform proposal to help Main Street businesses.

    Spin #3.  Main Street businesses have little-to-nothing to do with a measure that would (wrongheadedly) attempt to cordon off derivatives trading from other financial activities.  I mean, I suppose derivatives trading affects Main Street businesses in the same way it affects everyone else when it contributes to a downturn in the economy, but Ms. Lincoln’s measure was not “written … to help Main Street businesses.”

    She has fought for Arkansas farmers, ranchers, and foresters.

    Spin #4.  My favorite attack she launched in favor of them?  Voting against cap-and-trade because it “would hurt Arkansas farmers,” despite the fact that production agriculture is exempt from the restrictions of the proposed C&T bill.  You just can’t put a price on a Senator who will fight for you by lying about her reasons for voting against a bill.

    Arkansas cannot afford to lose Blanche’s leadership as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.”

    Just last month, pundits were writing off Sen. Lincoln’s campaign.

    Spin #5.  Just last month, Ms. Lincoln was shown with a 7-point (MOE +/-3) lead over Bill Halter.  Commenting on that poll, Roby Brock said, “With 3 weeks until early voting begins, the high-profile battle between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter is far from over. There is clearly room for undecided voters to swing this election to either candidate.”  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t consider that kind of language to be “writing off” her campaign.

    Last night, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel likened her to President Clinton, calling her the “Comeback Lady.”

    Spin #6.  Jeff touched on this already.  That’s just silly.

    “Over a two-month period, outside groups spent millions of dollars to punish me because I don’t answer to them[;] I answer to Arkansas,” Sen. Lincoln said.  “I believe I’m part of the solution[,] and that’s what Arkansans elected me to be.”

    Spin #7.  No mention of how the worst offender among outside groups seeking to “punish” a candidate was the group that was attacking your opponent with racist ads? Ok.

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    On a less-snarky note, considering that President Clinton already did two radio ads for Ms. Lincoln prior to yesterday’s vote, I’m unsure how much effect, if any, a personal appearance by him will have.  Besides, I think it’s a safe assumption that the people to whom Bill Clinton’s endorsement would most matter are probably already in Lincoln’s camp; Mr. Clinton is as much a part of “the establishment” as any big name politician, and I cannot imagine that much of that group is undecided or pro-Halter at this late date.