Governor Asa

There is “breaking news” today that Asa Hutchinson has said he expects to run for governor in 2014.

That ain’t news. It’s olds.

It was nearly two years ago now — well, 20 months or so — that Asa invited me to lunch at the Copper Grill and we chatted. That afternoon, back out at the Legislature, I told a Republican insider that I’d just come from lunch with Asa and that it was fine and pleasant and that maybe we’d all mellow out in our old ages. And the insider looked at me and said, “He’s running for governor again.”

He thinks he’s earned one more round and that his time is now because the party for which he’s been a loyal soldier is now in command.

He’s only 0-3 in statewide races — losing for the U.S. Senate to Dale Bumpers, for attorney general to Winston Bryant and for governor to Mike Beebe.

He is a worn and weary brand, but it is in fact true that his time has come and he has earned the right. It’s also true that other prospects have faded. Lt. Gov. Mark Darr is down, I suspect, to running for 3rd District congressman if Steve Womack goes for the Senate. Be reading Sunday column on that.

I figure Asa will get the nomination and then, yes, the governorship. I think he’ll run, oh, two points lower than a competent and able fresher face would run on the Republican side, but that he’ll probably have two points to spare.

That he is a worn and weary brand — and so guarded as to be kind of unappealing — is the only Democratic chance.



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