Patterico's Pontifications


Looking at the Arkansas Democratic Senate Primary

Filed under: 2010 Election,Obama — DRJ @ 6:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The White House and labor have had a falling out after the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary won by Senator Blanche Lincoln:

“Shortly after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) emerged victorious, an anonymous White House aide began spreading word that the President Obama’s political team thought that the money unions had spent on Halter’s candidacy was a massive waste and damaging to the party.

“Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” the unnamed official said to Politico’s Ben Smith. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”

The unions aren’t happy with the White House leaks or its message, and the conventional wisdom is that labor won’t support Lincoln in the general election. In addition, union leadership doesn’t view Halter’s loss as a defeat:

“For its part, the AFL-CIO still feels validated by its efforts. “If we can do this in Arkansas, imagine what we can do in other states,” spokesman Eddie Vale said.”

According to Rasmussen, Halter trailed Lincoln by 4-5 points when he entered the race in March. Lincoln ultimately beat Halter 52%-47%, or by 4 points, with black Obama voters giving Lincoln the edge.

The outcome suggests President Obama’s influence in the black community remains strong, but tell me again: How did the union’s $10M make a difference?


15 Responses to “Looking at the Arkansas Democratic Senate Primary”

  1. You can’t win every fight. There’s no disgrace in defeat, only in surrender. Good for the unions to say “in your face Obama”.

    nk (db4a41)

  2. I like tilting at windmills as much as anyone, but it would be better if the union leaders used their personal funds to do it.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  3. I value all your observations and contributors. One request: with California in the position it’s in, I would really welcome a “west coast” view of what is going on there. Alternatively, could you point me to blogs, etc, that follow the state’s death spiral.

    Again, many thanks!

    Larry Weber (4e0dda)

  4. Patterico is the West Coast specialist and this is his blog, so you can rest assured he will post on California. I’ve pretty much given up on California’s economic survival. Every time I think about California, it makes me want to write a post on Texas seceding.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  5. Comment by DRJ — 6/9/2010 @ 7:13 pm

    Heh! You’re preaching to the choir. Both my parents were Teamsters and their pension fund was used to fund a casino in Las Vegas (the one in the movie “Casino”).

    Still, it’s good to see the the disaffection with Obama.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    nk (db4a41)

  6. I call Bucksnort on the “Labor/Obama/Falling out.
    Anybody who falls for this piece of Kabuki Theater is really stupid. If it turns out that Blanche Lincoln is the deciding vote on cardcheck she’ll vote for it. And the ten million will come out of the taxpayers pockets if Barry has to go get it himself.

    glenn (0af9f1)

  7. I was a Texan for 2 years in my teens [LBJ’s Library now sits atop the block in which I lived] and, damn, it is fun being a Texan. I always get a kick out of the “outsiders” who deride the state until they move there and then they’ve got the belt, the boots, and the hat. If there was ever an object lesson in differing philosophies it is California vs Texas.

    Larry Weber (4e0dda)

  8. “We are not an arm of the White House or the DNC or a political party,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale. “We work on issues. And if we feel like someone is standing up for working families, we support them, and if they don’t, we won’t support it. In the past, people would have assumed that was talk, but now we have backed that up with action.”
    No, they don’t. They always support the democrat. Even though dems have done more to lower the wages and standard of living for working people (via democratic voting illegal immigrants) than any other party. My father is retired from the IBEW and a democrat for life and would vote democrat no matter what, just like most union members. They will continue to support democrats and they will wake up and see an illegal immigrant doing their job for 1/4 union scale.

    Pat (366dd8)

  9. nk’s right. The $10 million says something and accomplished something. It said that the unions do not belong to Obama. It will get the unions quite a huge return on their investment, I would bet. What our federal government does for unions is worth many billions.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  10. That picture of the fat union guy will cancel most of the benefit from the $10 million.

    Mike K (82f374)

  11. The problem is people were probably upset with Lincoln, for her vote on the health care bill,
    but putting up a MoveOn stooge in Arkansas that wasn’t going to fly

    ian cormac (ba1de9)

  12. “We are not an arm of the White House or the DNC or a political party,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale.

    You are correct Mr. Vale. It is the other way around. Don’t let Mr. Obama or the DNC forget it. Conservatives certainly don’t.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  13. For what it’s worth, yet another LA blogger with a west coast view is Jerry Pournelle, the science fiction author. (Hmm, no preview. Sigh.) He’s also living in SoCal (Hollywood-ish, not really sure). I’ve liked his stuff since he wrote in Byte Magazine a few decades ago.

    Red County Pete (414e7e)

  14. flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise
    There is nothing pointless about this exercise.
    The unions managed to make both possible Senate candidates unelectable in Arkansas by supporting a candidate so far Left that the other had to tact Left to win the primary.
    The only problem .. Arkansas isn’t that Left .. but it’s not pointless

    Neo (7830e6)

  15. They are not at odds with each other but joined at the hip. Niether one can retain power and get kickbacks without the support of the other. The purpose of the planned “leaks” are to give the voting public the impression that Unions don’t own Democrats lock, stock and barrel therefore a vote for Democrat doesn’t mean a vote for unions running the governement.

    Unfortunatly for them, its a batently obvious and poor con on the voting public. Unions and Democrats are soul mates and always will be. No amount of blustering to give fake impression will change that. It fools no one

    Tonka (59f783)

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