So my Sunday column was about how Bill Halter needs to determine if the Arkansas Democratic establishment, a Beebe-ish BlueDoggy thing that has never liked him, is really all-in for him for Congress in the 2nd District, or if it merely gave lip service to a supposed forthcoming commitment merely to lure him out of a Democratic gubernatorial primary and save Mike Ross some cash and trouble.
I’ve been hearing from Arkansas Democrats since the publication of that column, and here’s my preliminary — stress preliminary — conclusion, subject to revision or reversal should new information arise: Halter shouldn’t trust establishment Arkansas Democrats. They don’t like him. They can hardly stand him. They wanted him out of the governor’s race and aren’t very optimistic he could beat Griffin, and, at most, they want only to use him to gin up enough anti-Tim Griffin zeal to stir Democratic turnout for Ross and Mark Pryor.
I’m thinking Conway Mayor Tab Townsell or former state Rep. Linda Tyler of Conway could do as well as 2nd District candidates, stirring Democratic vote in Pulaski and holding their own in Faulkner, if, that is, the Democratic Congressional Committee would offer the financial and voter turnout help it has promised to Halter.
Meantime, I don’t sense that the Arkansas Democratic establishment wants to concede at this point to Halter as the nominee against John Boozman for the U.S. Senate in 2016. I think those folks would rather give Dustin McDaniel a chance to rehab and put some distance between himself and the little indiscretion.
I don’t fully understand what Halter did to Arkansas Democratic insiders. I know I’ve never been able to have a comfortable chat with him, but this flavor of disaffection seems to go beyond that.