by Max Brantley
Oh, OK. Twitter is abuzz with a new report that NRA lobbyist Asa! Hutchinson is "planning" to run for governor in 2014. That's been pretty clear for some time now, even before I quoted him Nov. 16 as saying it was time to "look at" that. UPDATE: Make that, according to AP, "fully expects" to run. More breaking news when he announces plans to announce. And when he announces. And so on. UPDATE: Make that, according to DOG's Beherec, "fully intends." UPDATE: John Lyon of Stephens Media makes it simply "intend." He tells Lyon he has to get that gun lobby job done in the next few months first.
But just to keep the Arkansas Blog record on this, be it duly noted: Asa! is still running. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. So might be Dustin McDaniel, politically speaking, unless he comes out of hiding in a credible fashion before too long.
UPDATE: Bud Jackson, political spokesman over the years for former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, volunteers this comment:
"Welcome to the race, Asa. There will undoubtedly be new Democrats and Republicans joining you."
I should have mentioned originally that Halter is expected to run. And I also should mention that Asa's entry won't drive all Republicans out of the race. Not every Republican is a Hutchinson Republicans, though he's done plenty to nourish good relations with the party. But a lot of new faces have risen to the top of the Republican scrum since Asa's salad days. Some are lean, some are not, all are hungry.