A bizarre thing is unfolding in Arkansas. The two candidates in the Democrat primary in Arkansas appear to be engaged in a mad dash… to the right. Via Hot Air, behold the latest campaign ad from Blanche Lincoln:
I agree with Allahpundit that the ad is well done and clever. I’m just not sure about whether it’s very smart. As I’ve written about extensively here, Arkansas Democrats are different from most other Democrats, and there’s room for Lincoln to point out that her opponent is funded by the sort of leftist wackos you’d expect to find in Vermont. However, Lincoln doesn’t go after “liberals” or “outside groups” – she goes after her party. Now, in this environment, in the state of Arkansas, that’s a great general election strategy. However, I still think a lot of conservatives in Arkansas stubbornly self-identify as Democrats and are proud of that. I’m just not sure naming the party specifically is a smart move.
Meanwhile, Bill Halter continues to disown issues that are important to labor unions and online leftist activists. Not, mind you, that they appear to have noticed whatsoever – if anything, they appear to be even more eager to throw money toward a candidate who’s just as willing to throw them under the bus as Lincoln is:
Virtually overnight, outside groups have erased the seemingly insurmountable financial advantage Lincoln brought to the contest. On Tuesday, an umbrella of four labor groups that have long been frustrated over Lincoln’s refusal to support card check legislation — the AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America, AFSCME and United Steelworkers of America — jointly announced they were each pledging to spend $1 million in an all-out effort to dislodge Lincoln.
By Wednesday morning, a coalition of liberal organizations led by MoveOn.org — which blasted out a fundraising appeal calling Lincoln “one of the worst Democratic senators” — had raised an eye-popping $1.1 million for Halter, Arkansas’s lieutenant governor, who announced his candidacy Monday.
The Sierra Club, meanwhile, announced it was going up with a radio ad blasting Lincoln for her effort to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
The progressive Netroots, for its part, has embraced Halter, with Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas writing, “Bill Halter will rescue the Democratic establishment from itself and help us hold a seat Lincoln is guaranteed to lose.” Firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher prominently featured Halter in fundraising appeals on her site and blasted Lincoln as a “corporatist.”
It’s a fascinating dynamic shaping up to be sure. Apparently, there’s not going to be all that many things Halter and Lincoln will differentiate from each other on, but they’ll apparently be arguing over who’s funding their opponent. In the end, that’s still good news for the GOP in the general.