The AP’s Andrew Demillo ventures deep into Arkansas GOP territory to attend the Saline County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner—and lives to tell the tale!
Speaking at the dinner was Tim Griffin, former U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Arkansas who’s been testing the waters on a potential challenge to Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln for months now. Any announcement from Griffin Friday night? No.
Thought experiment: As far as this extended tease goes….Is Griffin serious about running for the Senate seat? Or is he “exploring” a run to test the feasibility before he “suddenly” decides to drop down to a lower level race and, oh, say, challenge Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder for the Second District House seat? Discuss! It’s an interesting idea, and I throw it out there because others have asked me about it, but I don’t know that anything like that’s ever been tried before. (*cough*Bill Halter!*cough)
Other attendees at the dinner included state Sen. Kim Hendren, who announced last week his intent to challenge Lincoln, and Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman, who’s apparently mulling a run even though not a single person outside his own family has ever heard of him. No sign of state Sen. Gilbert Baker, who columnist David Sanders assures me is out of the running hasn’t made up his mind yet, he tells the Conway Log Cabin Democrat in a story this morning.
On Monday The Arkansas Project rounded up all the news to date on the 2010 Senate race in this marvelous post.
UPDATE: Columnist David Sanders examines Hendren’s candidacy, with this:
The upside to a Hendren candidacy is that he’s full of surprises. In addition to being affable, animated, and funny, he will say just about anything to get his point across. And, for that reason alone, potential Republican opponents wouldn’t have an easy time trying to pin him down. He is a moving target. And, if he emerged victorious from the Republican primary, he’d give those of us in this business plenty to write about.
But his upside also has a downside. Hendren’s unpredictability stems from his lacking self discipline. It’s hard to imagine him sticking to a script day in, day out. The campaign trail will only magnify his affinity for dining on his foot.
Meanwhile, Demillo comes back with an AP analysis piece looking at how a possible GOP Senate primary may expose fault lines amongst party factions.