Halter: ‘Stay Tuned’ On Lincoln Senate Challenge? (Updated: Never Mind!)

An editorial piece in the Conway Log Cabin Democrat assesses the ongoing puzzle that is Democratic Lt. Gov. Bill Halter and his place in Arkansas politics.

We’ve covered here the rumor mill suggestions that Halter would launch a primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, which makes this portion of the LCD’s editorial that much more intriguing:

Yet, for all his abilities and talents, Halter seems to mostly get the cold shoulder from Beebe and others in the power structure, especially among Democrats.

It’s the arms-length approach that greets Halter at ever turn that makes his comments Friday that much more confusing.

When asked about his interest in perhaps opposing Lincoln, who is seeking a third term to the U.S. Senate next year, Halter did nothing to deflate the trial balloon.

“Stay tuned” was his coy reply.

The editorial is as coy as Halter, giving us little sense as to where or to whom this cryptic statement was offered. (The editorialist goes on to warn Halter against the whole idea.)

But surely he’s not thinking about it, right? Surely he hasn’t been contacted by any, oh, I don’t know, disgruntled union types unhappy with Lincoln’s statement that she would oppose union-backed card check legislation?

Are there any such disgruntled union types out there? I can’t seem to think of any, can you?

UPDATE: Nemo in the comments section and a blogging John Brummett both pooh-pooh the “Stay tuned” angle, arguing that the LCD editorial takes Halter’s comments out of context. Nemo clarifies:

I asked the question and his answer was a two part reply: ” I’m raising money for re-election,” and to what’s his next project, his response was “stay tuned.”

Brummett suggests the misunderstanding arose from a misreading of the last lines of this story from last week.

Mystery solved? Sure, OK. But we sure had fun while it lasted, didn’t we?

UPDATE II: More on all this business from Blake’s Think Tank. And be sure to check the comments section below for feedback from Log Cabin Democrat editorialist Rick Fahr.

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5 thoughts on “Halter: ‘Stay Tuned’ On Lincoln Senate Challenge? (Updated: Never Mind!)

  • April 26, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Actually, you are incorrect. I asked the question and his answer was a two part reply: ” I’m raising money for re-election,” and to what’s his next project, his response was “stay tuned.”

  • April 26, 2009 at 11:43 am

    So you were at the same event, Nemo? The Log Cabin Democrat makes it out to sound as if Halter had been asked about challenging Lincoln directly. Could there have been a follow-up afterwards where the reporter or editor put the question to him directly?

  • April 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Well, as I’m the guy who wrote the editorial, I guess I should make my point clear — it’s nigh impossible in 500 words.

    I thought it interesting that Halter said he’s working toward re-election but said he had two words, “stay tuned.”

    The point of my editorial was that guys with Halter’s credentials — intelligent, savvy, seemingly above the political fray — don’t generally get too far in Arkansas politics.

    Should he have his eye on a gubernatorial race in a few years, he’d most likely be looking at Democratic hopefuls such as Rep. Mike Ross and perhaps AG Dustin McDaniel, both of whom play the Arkansas political game better than he does.

    Of course, what do I know? I’m just one of those long-toothed newspaper guys.

  • April 26, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Point taken, Rick — thanks for the clarification.

  • April 27, 2009 at 10:03 pm



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