Morning News of Northwest Arkansas columnist Doug Thompson takes the measure of Sen. Kim Hendren, the Benton County Republican who’s been rumored as a challenger to Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010. Thompson predicts Hendren will jump into the race:
His chances? Don’t ask me. I’m too biased. A Kim Hendren U.S. Senate race would be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I’d definitely have plenty to write about in 2010.
Hendren’s absolutely tireless, especially when campaigning. He’s 71. I’m 49. I wish I had his energy. However, his campaigns—including a statewide campaign for governor—rely a lot on shoe leather and tire rubber. I don’t know if you can win a statewide race against an incumbent with those anymore.
He has money. In fact, I don’t know what he’d spend his money on if he doesn’t campaign. Here’s a self-made man who seriously injured himself a few years ago when he fell from the ceiling while trying to fix something at one of his businesses rather than hire somebody to do it.
While we’re trading in speculation and rumors, I’m told that Hendren has a cool million set aside and at the ready to kick off his campaign, should he decide to jump in.
And if you’re interested in broader trends in Senate fundraising for 2010? Check out this Reuters piece, which notes that there’s no recession when it comes to campaign cash. Includes mention of Lincoln and notes that Democrats nationwide are currently leading in the money race.
UPDATE: Had a voicemail this morning saying that Hendren would announce his run via press release TODAY, and lo and behold, Max Brantley’s got the goods.
UPDATE 2: Here’s more from the AP’s Jon Gambrell. Also, a Twittering David Sanders declares that state Sen. Gilbert Baker will NOT pursue a rumored challenge to Lincoln—and then promptly revises his statement to indicate that Baker has said no such thing. Stupid Twitter.
And speaking of Sanders, his column from last Wednesday’s looking more prescient every minute, isn’t it?