Brummett todays surveys the Republican election debacle and offers a solution:
Here’s my advice: Look outside Northwest Arkansas for your candidates. Look outside the right-wing churches. Look outside people with toxic political names such as Hutchinson and DeLay. Give people more than pictures of gay people kissing. Quit lying about my columns. Quit doing smears and start talking about how to make government better from a fiscally conservative and reform-oriented point of view.
Republicans will be talking about these issues in coming weeks and new directions, if any, should emerge at the state committee meeting in December. It is too rich for a Democrat to believe to learn that Jim Holt and Stubby Stumbaugh are interested in the party chairmanship. Yes! That's the ticket.
More seriously: Doug Matayo's name goes around, too. Gil Baker of Conway is likely to seek re-election. Mark Myers, a Van Buren ad/pr exec, is interested in a party role. Jim Lagrone, the vanquished secretary of state candidate, is interested. Faulkner County is becoming ever-more Republican friendly, but Baker was slapped Tuesday not only in the state legislative arena but on the county level by an efficient Democratic operation there. Is there room now for a Chuck Banks in the Republican Party? You need somebody who can raise money. Those on the wannabe list who were on the tiicket this year wouldn't seem prime candidates in that respect.
Interesting questions, too, concern future Republican candidates who might have broad appeal statewide. Outgoing Blytheville Rep. Marvin Childers? LR banker French Hill? A re-emergence of Bud Cummins, who's done a solid job as U.S. attorney? If Mike Huckabee's presidential aspirations end early (he'll announce his exploratory committee after he leaves office), might he plunge immediately into a race for Senate against Mark Pryor in 2008, thus assuring his continued strong influence over the state party? As we've noted before -- our own differences aside -- he has many characteristics of a model crossover candidate, though ethical blindspots may not be quite so much in favor these days given the national pronouncement on the DeLay/Cunningham/Ney/etc. crowd.