Well, the columnist can’t hit a home run every day.
I’m starting to wonder if maybe I didn’t strike out last week, or maybe pop-out to foul territory, in a kind of detached and mildly sympathetic analysis of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s sex-induced woe.
I came back from his news conference moderately impressed with his performance under stress and inclined to impart generous analysis. I sought to establish some context based on the fact that tomcatting politicians are not unheard-of among otherwise worthy public servants. Tomcatting is not unheard-of in the general population, either.
I’ve known some maritally unfaithful politicians who weren’t bad on public policy. Haven’t you?
I’ve had a lot of conversations since then. People have said nice things about this column or that. But no one has said anything nice about that one. People have talked plenty, though, about Dustin and his problem, and no one seems to have sized up the matter remotely in the way I sized it up.
Just last night, from a liberal woman: “Who in the world advised him to stand up there and have that news conference? That was a loser from the get-go.”
And this: “500 text messages yet to come? Let me tell you something: One text message would be too many for this guy here,” as she nudged the gentleman next to her, her husband.
And there’s that poll: McDaniel losing to the personality-challenged Asa Hutchinson by 46-33 and having a positive-to-negative of 25-40.
Jay Barth, the Hendrix pundit, had a worthwhile view in the Arkansas Times. He said everything in McDaniel’s news conference was good until he talked about the politics in a way that seemed to have him saying he would be fine.
Barth thought McDaniel should have limited his message to his personal remorse and to his assertion that there was no compromising of any state legal case or public trust in his dalliance.
That’s probably right.
For political purposes, McDaniel probably should not have spoken to his political purposes.
Then I was walking away from the Political Animals Club meeting the other day with a plugged-in Democratic operative who just raised his eyebrow when I wondered aloud if McDaniel might end up having to drop out of the race.
Then the plugged-in Democratic operative started talking about how I ought to get to know John Burkhalter, the businessman and highway commissioner who intends to make the Democratic gubernatorial race. Don’t dismiss him; he has some money; he has some skills. Or so the guy said.
So then I got this extensive email from a Democratic insider touting Shane Broadway, an uncommonly nice and generally competent young Beebe-ite Democrat who got 49 percent for lieutenant governor against Mark Darr even against the Tea Party revolution of 2010.
Shane is popular in the party and could shore up women’s votes, vital to Democrats and alienated from Dustin at the moment.
And now Dustin is doing some desperate demagoguery on guns, suggesting he’d go to court to fight the evil Barack Obama and preserve the sovereign Second Amendment rights of Arkansawyers possessed of military weapons and resisting uniform background checks.
May as well go with Asa.
Oh, yes: Bill Halter. He’s lurking out there somewhere. He always seems to be.