One Childish Ad

I'm not quite sure what Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas was thinking when she commissioned this ad billing herself as "one tough lady" casting herself as if she were the sole adult in a Congress of children. Whatever her motives, it is fair to suggest that Senator Lincoln is not exactly contributing to a dignified image of the Senate among her constituents given her portrayal of the Democratic-led Senate as a kindergarten.

In the 30 second spot, the first of her re-election campaign, she touts her opposition to the TARP, the auto industry rescue, the public option and the cap-and trade energy bill.

"This is why I voted against giving more money to Wall Street, against the auto company bailout, against the public option health care plan, and against the cap and trade bill that would have increased energy costs for Arkansans," Senator Lincoln informs us. "None of those were right for Arkansas. Some in my party didn't like it very much. But I approve this message because I don't answer to my party. I answer to Arkansas."

By Arkansas, she meant Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods. And while Senator Lincoln is opposed to bailouts, she is quite the fan of agricultural subsidies. During her tenure in the Senate, this subsidy queen has helped secure $4.7 billion in subsidies to the Arkansas rice industry. One company alone, Ricelands Foods, has been the recipient of US agricultural subsidies totaling more than a half a billion dollars between 1999 and 2007. In 2002, the $110 million received by Riceland Foods that year was more than Washington gave to every farmer in 12 other states combined. Blanche Lincoln not so good for the citizens of Arkansas but great for corporate Arkansas.

The conservative Democrat, who is currently serving her second term, has drawn a primary challenge from the left of her party. After announcing his candidacy this past Monday, Arkansas Lt. General Bill Halter Halter has attracted the support of organized labor,, and Democracy for America, the group started by Howard Dean, and numerous progressive blogs including this one. So far, Halter has raised some $5 million since announcing.

Politico has more details on the left's rapid embrace of Bill Halter.

Virtually overnight, outside groups have erased the seemingly insurmountable financial advantage Lincoln brought to the contest. On Tuesday, an umbrella of four labor groups that have long been frustrated over Lincoln’s refusal to support card check legislation — the AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America, AFSCME and United Steelworkers of America — jointly announced they were each pledging to spend $1 million in an all-out effort to dislodge Lincoln.

By Wednesday morning, a coalition of liberal organizations led by — which blasted out a fundraising appeal calling Lincoln “one of the worst Democratic senators” — had raised an eye-popping $1.1 million for Halter, Arkansas’s lieutenant governor, who announced his candidacy Monday. The Sierra Club, meanwhile, announced it was going up with a radio ad blasting Lincoln for her effort to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.

The progressive Netroots, for its part, has embraced Halter, with Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas writing, “Bill Halter will rescue the Democratic establishment from itself and help us hold a seat Lincoln is guaranteed to lose.” Firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher prominently featured Halter in fundraising appeals on her site and blasted Lincoln as a “corporatist.”

For liberals, discouraged over the inability to push through a sufficiently progressive agenda in President Barack Obama’s first year in office, the opportunity to take down Lincoln, a two-term incumbent who has opposed high-profile items ranging from cap and trade to the public option for health reform, is proving to be irresistible.

“Blanche Lincoln has become the living, breathing symbol of a politician who represents the interests of their corporate donors over those of their constituents,” said Hamsher, whose Accountability Now PAC has endorsed Halter.

For what it is worth, Lincoln's ad is set to run across Arkansas on network and cable television for the next week.

Tags: Senator Blanche Lincoln, US Campaign Ads, US Agricultural Subsidies (all tags)




Yeah, the people of Arkansas definitely couldn't use a public option, that's for sure!  Good call on that one.

What makes this primary challenge a no-brainer is that Lincoln is extremely likely to lose no matter what.  Does the challenger have a better chance, I have no idea, but it's hard to get much worse.  Hard to argue that Halter is too liberal to win in Arkansas when he currently holds statewide office.

If the incumbent were someone like Ben Nelson with a good chance to hold the seat, personally I would have a much tougher decision.

by Steve M 2010-03-05 12:08AM | 0 recs
RE: Wow

Even though her own official website listed her as a supporter of the public option as recently as November.

She is such a liar.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-05 01:55PM | 0 recs
RE: Wow

Also no arguement on why the PO would be bad for Arkansas whereas the rest of the bill bill would be OK.

Also note, it' all about things she voted against, nothing on the "accomplishments" side. Isn't that basically the strategy of the "party of NO"?

by vecky 2010-03-05 02:54PM | 0 recs
RE: Wow

She is certainly disingenuous to say the least.

Though I did appreciate the opportunity to bring up agricultural subsidies and her hypocrisy on that score.


by Charles Lemos 2010-03-05 08:31PM | 0 recs
Lincoln's also misleading on her bailout vote

She voted for the initial package under Bush.

by ARDem 2010-03-05 12:32PM | 0 recs
RE: Lincoln's also misleading on her bailout vote

In other words she voted for the original blank cheque bailout, but against the restrictions that were imposed in the Jan vote. Classy, reminds me of the majority of republicans.

by vecky 2010-03-05 02:51PM | 0 recs
RE: Lincoln's also misleading on her bailout vote

I guess she is taking the Mitt Romney position that it was a good bailout when the purpose was to save the economy, but it became a bad bailout when Obama turned it into a big socialist slush fund.

by Steve M 2010-03-05 06:12PM | 0 recs
RE: Lincoln's also misleading on her bailout vote

The second vote on the second half happened before Obama was sworn in and when Paulson was still Trs. Sec. Not to mention in Jan the economy was in even worse shape than in Oct.

by vecky 2010-03-05 06:39PM | 0 recs
Obama owns this

Well, Obama was in the Senate, and pressed for its passage there, even going further to make sure the money was not blocked.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-06 12:34AM | 0 recs
RE: Obama owns this

I believe Obama had resigned from the senate by that time. He was president-elect, but not President.

by vecky 2010-03-06 12:50AM | 0 recs


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