So the story goes that when iconic newsreader Walter Cronkite declared the Vietnam War a lost cause, Lyndon Johnson knew he was sunk: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America,” the embattled president is said to have declared. I have no idea if that actually happened, but what am I, LBJ’s biographer?
Anyway, I was put in mind of that hoary anecdote in reading Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Kane Webb’s Sunday take on the Lu Hardin/secret $300K bonus/forged memo/fall-from-grace story at the University of Central Arkansas.
Let’s skip to the juicy part, Webb’s conclusion in an open letter to Hardin:
Just a couple months ago, it all must have seemed so clear. You’d serve out the next six years as president of UCA, then succeed Mike Beebe as governor of Arkansas. That seemed like the perfect plan. You know who laughs at plans, Lu. He might have other plans for you now. It’s never the wrong time to do right. I think Martin Luther King Jr. said that, Lu. It’s time to do right—by your family, by your health, by your university, in that order. It’s time to resign. Godspeed.
Now, as a pundit, Kane Webb is not the type to go about calling on public officials to resign willy-nilly—he’s the measured type, not overly excitable, nor inclined to grand, sweeping gestures. In fact, at one point he almost ditched journalism to go to work for Hardin….
And now Lu Hardin’s lost him.
Could it be that the Lu Hardin Steps Down to Spend More Time With His Family Watch is coming closer to fruition?