United States Senator Mark Pryor, while not a favorite of many in state and national pundits, is still talking “straight and tough.”
And like it or not, every day that goes by without an announced challenger to Pryor’s re-election run makes him stronger in the eyes of Arkansans in so many ways.
Arkansans are not naïve that all these slick issue-oriented Television ads and media buys that are being made with out of state and big-time Political Action Committee cash.
First, it was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group who whipped out a quick jab against Pryor. Didn’t take long for the baby brother of the Pryor household to slap back.
“No one in New York or Washington tells me what to do,” Pryor snapped angrily back at the camera in a new TV ad.
“I listen to Arkansas.”
But it is only a $30,000 media buy for Pryor, a quick in-and-over issue dispensed with, and not lingering for Arkansans to dwell upon.
“Yup,” the good ole boys will say, “He told ‘em, didn’t he?”
Guess his honor NY’s Bloomberg, a self avowed Billionaire, never hear of that old desk name plate: “Arkansas First.” That is what sits on Pryor’s office desk.
Now comes the second volley, a $320,000 media buy from the Senate Conservative Action Super PAC, led by former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, who is now head of the Heritage Foundation.
This volley of ads comes braced by the Hermitage Foundation’s local lap dog, the Tea Party of Arkansas. And with these ads come some of that radical talks that fills the airwaves with half-truths.
These ads will tell us Pryor is “too liberal,” painting him with voting for “Obamacare.”
The ad does not mention that a goodly number of their Republican brothers just voted for the Arkansas Private Option for the expansion of the Affordable Health Care Act just last month.
The same ad paints the Senior Senator from Arkansas as having voted for the Federal Stimulus Bill in 2009. Arkansas should remember that jobs, infrastructure and other pork came rolling to the state because of that vote.
What will Pryor tell Arkansans in response to these ads?
He may swing his message back to his core base and talk about protecting their Social Security benefits against these who wish everyone had their own Private Option retirement account and was responsible for their own future. Or Pryor may pull on his faded farmer’s jacket and go down to the Rice/Soybean/Corn Dryer Co-Op and talk about the Farm Bill and Food Stamps.
The Club for Growth may have their “target man” Congressman Tom Cotton waiting in the “shadows” and building upon his national profile. Cotton, since taking the Washington House seat a scant six months ago, seems eager to do their bidding, despite the work for him to do in the Fourth Congressional District.
But do these Club for Growth folks want to take the chance he would be “removed” politically by the politically fickle Arkansans?
It could happen.
Arkansans may expect Cotton to charge out against Pryor, but they know Cotton has stumbled out of the gate tripping over his prepared text written by his backers. Can Cotton expend the actual time, in this state, necessary to defeat an old trail rider like Pryor?
According to Washington publications, such as The Hill, Pryor may be the most vulnerable Senator in 2014.
But do they know the Mark Pryor from Arkansas that we all know?
He is smart enough to reverse his vote for gun show background checks in his early position and can do so with his most famous line: “I listen to Arkansas.”