AR-02: Timmy v. Elliott

24 Jun

Or whatever the political equivalent of “must-see TV” is, according to Suzi Parker’s article for Talk Business.

The most interesting race in Arkansas may not be between Senator Blanche Lincoln and Rep. John Boozman. Rather the battle to watch? The one between Democrat Joyce Elliott and Republican Tim Griffin for Rep. Vic Snyder’s Second District Congressional seat.

[***]

While both will have passionate support from their respective bases, the two will have to strongly convince moderates of their non-devilishness.

“Griffin will have to prove that he is not an evil Bush, Rove extremist,” says one Little Rock political consultant. “Elliott will have to say, ‘I am a lot less liberal than people think, and I love guns.’”

I would agree with both of those points, though I think Griffin will have to dodge more than just generalized allegations based on his friendship with Karl Rove. More specifically, I expect the old voter-caging allegations against him to get mainstream media traction as well as questions about why he bailed on being a U.S. Attorney once it was clear that he would have to face Congressional questioning.

As for Elliott, “I love guns” is, in my opinion, a proxy for the “a lot less liberal” part of the consultant’s equation. By which I mean that she is going to have to openly embrace some of the more Blue Dog-esque positions to convince people; merely saying over and over that she is “a lot less liberal” will not be enough.

She can thank Robbie Wills and his ridiculous run-off attack ads for a lot of the too-liberal talking points, too.

Elliott was painted as “too extreme” by her Democratic run-off opponent, Speaker of the House Robbie Wills, who sent out a tough mailer addressing Elliott’s stances on the Second Amendment, school prayer and abortion.

We already tackled the monumental ignorance behind the school-prayer bill. Up next — the kids call this “foreshadowing” — we’ll address the abortion-bill vote Wills referenced.

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