Tom Cotton: Too busy to talk about 2014 | Arkansas Blog

Tom Cotton: Too busy to talk about 2014

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TOM COTTON: 24/7 for the 4th District.
  • TOM COTTON: 24/7 for the 4th District.
It is a mark, sadly, of the state of affairs this year that political buzz among insiders is a whole lot more about giant races looming in Arkansas in 2014 — governor and U.S. Senate — than current races for Congress, the conventional wisdom being that Republicans will sweep the four districts without much difficulty. (If issues matter, I think voters have ample ground — an imperative really — to choose alternatives, but the money imbalance will make it difficult for Democrats to break through with any counter-messaging.)

That buzz, as I've mentioned before, has focused on future plans of two current and possibly one future Republican congressmen. 2nd District Rep. Tim Griffin is widely assumed (dangerous word alert) to be planning to run for governor. 3rd District Rep. Steve Womack? You hear everything from staying in the House to governor to a run for Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. Then there's Tom Cotton, the Republican candidate to succeed quasi-Republican Mike Ross in the 4th District. Already, people all over are talking him up as a Senate candidate in 2014, talk that began at least as early as April on the Red State blog. A Republican told me last week that he believed Cotton people had already been in touch with the Senate Republican campaign apparatus. Coincidentally, Libertarian 4th District candidate Bobby Tullis asked about the same time for Cotton to promise, if elected, not to immediately turn his attention to higher officer but to keep working solely for the people of the 4th District.

So I asked Cotton's campaign about Tullis' challenge. And asked. And Republican shills jumped on me for asking an off-message question of their anointed one. As I indicated when I first wrote about this, it's a bipartisan game to make a politician look too ambitious by claiming he's using an office as a stepping stone. Of course politicians are ambitious. It's the American ideal to improve yourself, is it not? But there is protocol to be followed and the game is played whether sycophants like it or not.

I finally pestered the Cotton folks long enough to get a response from spokesman Doug Coutts:

You can quote Tom as follows: "I don't have time to think about anything but working 24/7 to serve the people of the 4th Congressional District."

I can confirm that your reporting on NRSC contacts is incorrect. Neither Tom nor anyone acting on his behalf have had contact with the NRSC. Don't trust everything you hear in the LR echo chamber...

I compliment Cotton on his absolutely sparkling quote and his (or Coutts') sense of humor. See what I mean here.

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