The Pryor Effect


In weekend columns, Arkansas News Bureau columnist David Sanders and AP Capitol reporter Andrew Demillo both examined how former Sen. David Pryor’s selection as the new chairman of the state Democratic party will play out in this election season.

Demillo pondered the question of whether Pryor would have “to shed his nice guy image” to serve as the party’s attack dog. Meanwhile, Sanders suggests that Pryor could serve as a “firewall” between the national Democratic Party and locals to protect Arkansas legislative candidates, helping to “insulate Arkansas Democrats from being defined by the increasingly unpalatable hyper left-wing sensibilities that cause Barack Obama to mock the very things that most Arkansans hold dear.”

The analyis in both cases may be a bit overdetermined, as Pryor stepped in only to fill out the remainder of the late Bill Gwatney’s term as chairman, which ends in January, and because there’s little political competition on the ground in Arkansas this year other than local and legislative races. But both columns are worth a look.

Last week, Pryor traveled to Conway to plump for Democrat Joe White in his race to unseat GOP Sen. Gilbert Baker, and we considered his oddly Disneyesque speaking style.

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2 thoughts on “The Pryor Effect

  • September 22, 2008 at 9:28 am

    So is Pryor just passing time or was he picked to do a job? Me agrees with overdetermined analyis that says Pryor will help in swing legislative districts. What say you Mr. ArkyProg?

  • September 22, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Blue Dog,
    I’d say that it’s probably closer to the former than the latter — Pryor’s keeping the chair warm for the final weeks of the election season. He’ll almost certainly bring some added value, given his history of service, knowledge of the field and general warm fuzziness. But I imagine that the party’s strategic direction for the coming weeks was already more or less set, as one of Sanders’ sources suggests, and Pryor’s job will be to keep it on the tracks.


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