Asa now reflects on the 24-year presidential race

It’s spring and we know young people’s minds are turning to romance. I guess the minds of politicians – especially those looking for a new, once-time-limited position, turn to – well, presidential politics.

Let’s face it (and we hope Asa Hutchinson faces it as well), the US Senate seats are locked in for Arkansas – with the GOP Primary’s landslide victory for Sen. John Boozman later this month. Plus, now that our junior pitcher Tommy Cotton has done a million TV commercials saying he and “Boozman are a team,” there won’t be a future challenge for this duo in the near Republican election decade.

So our limited-time governor, who also just wrapped up last year as chairman of the National Conference of Governors, is looking for a new “gig”.

The Arkansans now face the first time in a long time that the marathoner – the guy who always runs for office, but not always wins, Asa Hutchinson – is looking for a new elective contest.

And why not go to New Hampshire, Iowa, New York, or Colorado, or wherever the GOP meets to listen and find a “new standard bearer” for 2024?

Asa told Fox News (who else?) during a national television appearance on Sunday the shocking news.

There’s something ethereal, I suppose, akin to taking a nice sip of smooth bourbon on a chilly fall afternoon, going to the Fox network and slipping in a little news item destined to shine at across the country.

It must be like that hot gourmet bourbon belly burn, for a Republican, I suppose.

Either way, our lame governor just “whistled a dog” to all of his fans and haters within the state GOP — he’s off in search of a bigger and better gig.

He gave up running the state, packed his bag and carried a bigger toe bag for donations than ever before and hit the road in search of attention, donations and any available microphone.

Our CEO for the past seven years, or someone in his office, has spent very little time on what Asa hopes is a whale nickname for this campaign, a catchy little abbreviation that expresses hope for the people.

WINS – Hutchinson unveiled a platform of W (for workforce development), I (for infrastructure), N (for new economy jobs) and S (for strengthening families in Arkansas).

Well, first of all, he better change the S to “strengthen American families – to make it salable to the American public”.

And where in Arkansas has Asa developed these “new economy jobs” over the past 7.5 years?

Remember: the Arkansans have been sold on their ability to be governor two of the last three times they ran for the job.

So a catchy little nickname for WINS will also come with what he says in his becoming, “…a leading voice for a new direction for our (Republican) party,” he told Fox. News.

Just to hedge his bets, Asa said, “I’m not ruling out a presidential race.”

I know from recent Arkansas Business & Politics state polling results that our Governor is sitting with a 59% approval rating – not bad. Yet even after 7.5 years in Arkansas, he maintains a 38% disapproval rating.

Just to ‘calm down’ the noisy reporters, Asa said he “…will not be using public transportation to attend…” those faraway presidential parties to speak to people in New Hampshire, Iowans, New -Yorkers, Coloradans or Floridians.

And maybe he can fill that big “backpack” with enough money to actually run for president.

Others in his own party, including Mike Huckabee, have tried and failed to reach that peak.

Plus, there’s still the “Chief Insulter of The Republican Party,” a Donald J. Trump, frantically reaching for a microphone to insult those seeking the place he once held.

Beware of imminent and very personal insults directed at you, Asa, directly from the leader of your own political party.

They arrive.

— Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several publications in northwest Arkansas. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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