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HuffPo: Lincoln Needs Primary Challenge

Updated: Apr 15

We’ve chronicled here the growing meme of “Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s re-election campaign is in trouble,” captured lately in various headlines, articles and blog items across the political spectrum. To that, we must add a corollary meme: “Will Lincoln face a primary challenge from the left?”

I’ve heard this notion bandied about for some months, from both Republicans and Democrats in the state, so the idea, at least, has some currency. Moreover, conservative blogger Rett Hatcher points us toward this Huffington Post article posted yesterday by Jonathan Tasini calling on labor to back a primary challenge to Lincoln.

Tasini argues that the labor left needs to send Lincoln a message for her apostasy on card check (a story that Arkansas Business broke earlier this week):

Perhaps defeating her is not in the cards. But, look, when do you simply stop looking the other way? If you say your most important priority is [the Employee Free Choice Act]—because you believe it is the difference between life and death of your movement—then, why should anyone take labor seriously if it doesn’t back that declaration up with actions that show elected politicians that they won’t be able to coast along if they undercut unions?I note that the Arkansas AFL-CIO convention is May 4th-6th. There has got to be a labor candidate from the state’s labor executive board who has the gumption to jump in as the standard-bearer for a primary challenge.

Any rumblings from Arkansas labor leaders that Lincoln will face retribution for her card check defection? I continue to find this scenario unlikely at this point, but it still needs to be added to the mix of emerging narratives in the 2010 Senate race.

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