by Max Brantley
Obama hasn't yet been inaugurated, but national political pundits are already talking about 2012. Closer to home, Andrew DeMillo is talking about 2010, when state constitutional offices and a U.S. Senate seat will be on the ballot.
Charlie Daniels will try to slide over to yet another office (auditor), having been term limited in two, and a raft of wannabes hope to succeed Charlie as secretary of state.
Bill Gwatney's murder was a terrible tragedy in every measure. It also ended his talked-about run against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Of course Powerball Halter may not be content with another term as the Ark. political equivalent of teats on a boar hog. He may run for governor, Senate or world emperor.
Please, Sen. Baker, run for higher office so reporters might finally ask you about UCA scholarships and housing for your kid, special payments for yourself, etc. And perhaps they'll seek more information, too, about the Minnesota foundation that had a parting of the ways with 9/11 widow Deena Burnett, a protege of Baker's who has long been interested Arkansas political office. The celebrity widow bio is a better fit with the congressional race once talked up for her than secretary of state, which is now being mentioned.
Is is also true, though, that a terrorist's missile struck the Arkansas Capitol once during the reign of Bill McCuen. You could look it up. It left an awful smudge on the dome.
DeMillo offers no potential challengers to Gov. Beebe and not much beyond the fat-cat-loving, immigrant-hating Rogers Mayor Steve Womack for Sen. Blanche Lincoln. What about Republican Tom Cotton, the Harvard-educated Arkie currently serving in Iraq? People who know him say he's serious about a Senate race. And what about Tim Griffin? He could get some guest consulting help from his old colleague Karl Rove.