Another interesting program is coming up next week at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. Austin Barbour – the nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour – will be speaking about the heated Republican primary in Mississippi this past spring. Barbour was a key strategist for Republican Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign.
Cochran – the incumbent for the past 36 years – successfully fought off a challenge from Tea Party favorite State Sen. Chris McDaniel. It was a long brutal fight. McDaniel narrowly received the most votes in the May primary, but fell just short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. In June, Cochran came out roughly 7,600 votes ahead.
McDaniel protested the results in court for months only giving up the fight recently and even now keeping the dust-up alive with comments he made this week. Cochran was easily re-elected in the general election in November.
It is certainly an interesting and timely topic for Arkansas politics. With the Republican sweep this month, there is little doubt that similar Republican primaries in the future will lead to the GOP candidate being viewed as the clear favorite in November. I will be interested in hearing Barbour’s insight as to how this might play out.
I’ll also add a word of praise for Skip Rutherford on his continued success in bringing top speakers from both sides of the political aisle. Sure, the program speakers leaned towards the Democratic point-of-view, but with a steady stream of names like Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, and Wayne LaPierre there has been something for everyone. They even invited me to speak there once – believe it or not.
The Clinton Presidential Library marks its the ten year anniversary this weekend. As a Republican-leaning conservative Arkansan, I was skeptical if the library could live up to the promises it made, but it definitely has. Central Arkansas is better off by having this resource. It has continued to bring in not only top notch programs, but tourists and visitors to the area, a revitalization of the surrounding area, and community involvement that has had a positive impact. The investment has paid huge dividends.
Much of this credit goes to the hard work of Skip. Thanks!
Barbour will speak next Friday, November 21 at noon. Details can be found here.