The Arkansas Democratic Party will trade on Gov. Mike Beebe’s enduring popularity — and, presumably, cash the chits he can call in from deep pockets for favors done — in hopes of fueling a big Jefferson-Jackson turnout to fill party accounts with money for a fall political campaign that could be Republicans’ first big hurrah.
Beebe will leave office as popular as when he began. But look around: He’s presided over a steadily rising tide of Republicans in offices from JP to Congress. Republicans like to point out a lack of job growth (a national trend thanks to the recession bequeathed by George W., but still). The last legislative session pretty well delivered a Republican wish list, with some fine-tuning here and there thanks to Beebe’s acknowledged technical skills.
But there’s this: Think how much worse it would have been were we finishing eight years of Asa Hutchinson.
That day may lie ahead. A big bankroll might help forestall it. But the prevailing breeze may be stronger than money or smart politics and candidates, presuming the latter are at hand.