The “Who’s Up/Who’s Down” framework is a favorite of newspaper columnists everywhere: You pull out a few boldfaced names from recent news stories, assign an up or down designation, write up a quick blurb to justify your case and then call it a day. It’s an easy crutch for the harried writer, which is why I’ll probably start doing something like that on The Arkansas Project someday.
These columns are also fun to read, because we all like keeping score, and part of the fun is watching the contortions that writers go through to freshen up the concept. That’s what Arkansas News Bureau columnist David Sanders does nicely today in his pool party column, where he assesses recent Arkansas political events based on who’s swimming, who’s sinking and who’s treading water.
Notably sinking: University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin, the target of a recent bonus scandal that somehow just keeps getting worse and worse. Secret bonuses! Forged memos!
Remember when Lu was popular? Of course you do. That was last month. But not anymore. Anyone laying odds on length of Hardin’s tenure at this point? Is it time to launch the Lu Hardin Death Watch?