Monday, May 17, 2010

Blanche in the middle

U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln has been much in the national news in recent months (read more here and here), and she is no less so today, the day before the Democratic primary in Arkansas in which she faces serious opposition, most notably from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Lincoln's part of a front-page story in USA Today ("Key primaries a barometer of voters' frustration") and also features in a piece in the New York Times. Here's an excerpt from the latter, which reports from the World Champion Steak Cook-Off in Magnolia, population 10,858:
It may be a measure of the electorate’s angry mood that the Democratic Senate candidate who got the biggest cheer from the steak lovers assembled amid a charcoal haze to worship charred red meat was D. C. Morrison, a former cotton farmer who wants to repeal the new health care law, seal the southern border and abolish income taxes in favor of a consumption tax.

As for Lincoln, she "cited her success in persuading the government to increase timber sales in the state and put more lumberjacks to work. Mrs. Lincoln has also often reminded voters that she has achieved an influential post as the chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee in a state where farms drive a quarter of the economy." Striking, but not surprising in the context of Arkansas, is the rural character of the economic interests she touts: farms and forestry.

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