Gov. Mike Beebe's attempt to govern with a legislative majority belonging to the Republican Party will be interesting to watch.
He talked to press this morning. Saw these tweets:
Arkansas Business' Lance Turner
Mike Beebe expresses confidence that majority of the Legislature will ‘rise to the occasion’ and meet governing responsibilities.
“I knew all along it was going to be close,” Beebe says of state Legislature makeup post-2012
Talk Business' Roby Brock
Beebe says its easier to be in minority; harder to govern as majority. He's confident leadership in #arleg will "rise to occasion."
Beebe says grocery tax cut top priority. Says next week we'll see "progress" on Medicaid shortfall, but still won't close gap totally.
Beebe says both parties have to cooperate or will be punished at polls.
Channel 4's Jonathan Athens
"Arkansans are notoriously independent in their thought process."
I think I could predict that Republicans, particularly those smarting from Beebe-funded attack advertising, might see a little condescension in these remarks. They might expect the vanquished, not them, to "rise to the occasion." I do think a punishing Republican agenda — tax cuts primarily for the wealthy, cuts in government programs, summary dismissal of Beebe initiatives, express train approval of far-right social agenda items — holds the potential for voter backlash in 2014. By then, surely, Obama will mostly be old news in state politics. Surely.
Beebe spun that point and also downplayed the scope of the Tuesday night victory (overlooking, of course, the historic change of legislative control). Again from Roby Brock:
Beebe said Dems can do well in 2014 b/c Obama not on ballot and depending on how legislative session goes...
Beebe said 2012 not a GOP surge. 2010 was in Ark. He sees 2012 as an incremental advance for GOP.