by Max Brantley
Mike Beebe has tapped Morril Harriman, his friend and the state's leading poultry lobbyist, to be his chief of staff. Brummett cheers the decision. Some will criticize, but, he writes:
Others will see compelling common sense in the move. They will say that Harriman and Beebe were whiz-kid state senators together until term limits ended their legislative tenures prematurely and arbitrarily. Others will say that these two men pretty much ran the Legislature in the 1990s as different halves of the same brain, with Harriman the detail guy and Beebe the out-front guy.
The "Pippen and Jordan" of Arkansas legislating, a columnist once called them. Beebe would be Michael Jordan, doing the shooting and the flashy scoring. Harriman would be Scottie Pippen, playing defense, getting rebounds, dishing assists, moving out to point guard at times.
These others will say that it will be infinitely better for the new governor to have his trusted best friend and the other half of his brain beside him working for the general interest rather than down the street wielding influence for the potent poultry industry.