I’ve been privy to some interesting conversations of late among Arkansas progressives regarding the U.S. senate race post Lincoln vs. Halter. Right now, the progressive community in this state is splitting into two camps. One camp is rightfully angry over some of the Lincoln camp’s dirty tricks and tactics in the primary and over Lincoln’s running to the right. As such, that camp is threatening to vote in mass for a third party candidate, likely Green candidate John Gray, or just leave the ballot blank. On the other side, there are progressives who are so repulsed by the idea of having John Boozman as our senator that they’re willing to hold their nose and vote and are encouraging others to do the same. Which side is going to win out?
I see both sides of this one. I don’t want Boozman as my senator, and I’d freely admit that even after all that’s been said and done I’d still prefer Lincoln. However, I also have to way the arugment that conservative Democrats may, as they’ve shown themselves to be over the last year and a half, present a greater threat to progressive policy than Republicans, so long as Democrats maintain their majorities, something that is, itself, up in the air. At the same time, there’s the fear of Lincoln becoming a drag on the ticket for our federal candidates and I’m not sure if the best approach is to try and help her shape up or find a way to cut her loose.
Personally, I can see vulnerabilities that could bring down Boozman, but Lincoln’s only way forward here is by a slim victory in November, and she’s going to need to mend fences if that is to happen. She needs to reach back out to the progressive base and make nice. Someone asked me recently if I’d be willing to interview Senator Lincoln if the offer were extended. Sure, of course I would. Anyone can talk to us at Blue Arkansas and I would always make an effort to be fair and respectful to whomever I was interviewing. So yeah, if someone from Lincoln’s staff approached me and said they wanted to talk to us to reach out to our readers, I’d gladly sit down and give them that chance. Whether the readership responds or not is totally out of our hands though.
If Lincoln’s going to pull an upset in this race she needs to do two big things. One, she has to pull together the fractured base. Two, she has to cast Boozman as an unthinkable option. She still has time yet to do that, but it’s jut a little time. If she fails to even try though, well, it’s a sign that her campaign has bigger problems then simply a fractured base and a tough political climate.