Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This idea is going to seem a little hypocritical since I made fun of Tom Cotton's mother endorsing him, but bear with me. The smartest thing Mark Pryor could do to get reelected in November is to get his dad out on the campaign trail with him. He doesn't have to endorse his son, or even make a speech; he just needs to be seen with him.

You see, The Republican grand strategy, especially in states like Arkansas, is to link every Democratic incumbent in Congress to President Obama. That's because in places like Arkansas Obama is less popular than a syphilis epidemic in a Girl Scout troupe. I know it's just a matter of time before Cotton, or some group on his behalf, puts out a TV spot where Mark Pryor's face slowly morphs into Obama's.

David Pryor, on the other hand, is one of the most popular politicians in Arkansas. Even members of the Old Guard who worked to defeat him in his challenge to John McClellan in 1972 turned around and offered their support for him when he ran for Governor two years later. He's got Bill Clinton's skill at retail politics without the Hillary and Monica baggage.

Mark Pryor needs to take every opportunity to remind the voters that he's not President Obama's Senator, he's David Pryor's son. As I wrote before, David Pryor doesn't have to open his mouth; he just has to be seen with Mark. His image should be seen in every visual the campaign stages. Maybe the two of them should launch a bus tour and barnstorm the state. It's crass politics, but there is some truth in it. After all, when it comes down to it, if Obama asks Mark to vote one way, and his dad wants him to do the opposite, who do you think he is most likely to listen to?

In this part of the state, he may not need his dad's help as much as he will elsewhere, but he should come with him anyway. This area is dominated by farmers and agriculture. Those farmers may hate Obama. They may loathe Obamacare. That doesn't matter. There's something they love even more than they hate Obama, and that's their subsidies. Tom Cotton voted against them while Pryor voted for them. All he needs to do is remind voters of that over and over when he campaigns in the Delta.

Unfortunately, regardless of who wins the election in November, or which party ends up in control of Congress in January, the gridlock that has all but paralyzed government will probably continue. That's because the Republican Party is still being held captive by the Tea Party, and Obama, a gifted orator, is not a good politician. He lacks the skill of a Bill Clinton to exploit the Republican's problems and use them against them.