Opinion: Doug Thompson and Daddy Warbucks

Obama should stop, drop and roll
By Doug Thompson

There’s an old expression that goes, “You can stick a fork in him, he’s done.”
Here’s a new one for Sen. Barak Obama, D-Ill., at least for the 2008 presidential election: You can wrap him in foil, he’s leftovers.
For once, the Democrats have settled on a candidate first. The Republican presidential primary is chaotic by comparison. We’ll leave discussion of that one until next week.
People say it was Obama’s inexperience killed him in the debates. That’s just the start. Being experienced hasn’t helped Joe Biden or Bill Richardson.
Obama suffers the far more serious problem of being two-faced. He’s so anxious to give the politically “right” answer, he advocated having tea with our enemies. When that clearly proved to be the “wrong” answer, he veered wildly into threatening our nominal allies with bombing.
He exposed himself as someone willing to tell people absolutely anything they want to hear.
Mitt Rommey summed it up best: Obama was Hanoi Jane one night and Dr. Strangelove in the morning.
Clearly I don’t expect Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to name Obama as her running mate. You can’t harpoon somebody for inexperience, then name him as your choice of an immediate replacement in a dire emergency.
I checked on Obama’s demise at the political futures markets set up by the University of Iowa. People bet on the outcome of political contests in those markets. The maximum price for one of the contracts is a dollar. The closer the amount paid is to $1, the more the buyer sees the contract as a sure thing.
Contracts for Clinton’s nomination were selling for almost 62 cents Sunday night. Obama’s were at fire sale prices of less than 22 cents. Edwards and others are barely registering. It may be a long way until February and the first big voting night of the primary process, but Clinton has too good of a campaign organization to blow a lead this big.
Let’s look at some fundamentals here. Sen. Clinton represents New York in the Senate. She is very popular there and was re-elected by a wide margin. New York is a huge Democratic state. The Northeast is a huge Democratic region.
She’s from Chicago, which undercuts whatever’s left of Obama’s home field advantage there.
She was first lady in Arkansas, which gives her some plausibility as a candidate in the South — which is a lot more than most other Democratic candidates. At least she knows where Prescott is, to paraphrase U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.
She’s as Hollywood as any movie star, too, so California’s covered.
She had all that before 2007. What she used to have is absurdly high negatives. Then the president self-destructed and proved determined to take his own party down with him.
I’ve written in this space before than nothing would heal the wounds, revive the spirits and close the ranks of the Republican Party like a Hillary for President nomination. I still believe that. I no longer believe that will be enough to defeat her, however.
The GOP field is the weakest I’ve seen in a generation. I remember Republican primaries with a half-dozen top-tier candidates. I remember in particular one guy who was the only Ph.D. in Congress, or something like that, running against Reagan in 1980.
When your base is shaken and the independents have left you in droves, you need somebody on your side that people will vote for. Having an opponent that people will vote against doesn’t help if the people who would vote against her stay home on Election Day.
You just can’t argue that anything’s better than a Democrat this far into a George W. Bush administration.
According to some news account I can’t find right now, 40 percent of Americans say they will never vote for Hillary Clinton. Notice, however, that does not mean they’re going to vote for anybody else.
There’s one other fundamental factor worth mentioning about Clinton. She’s married to the best politician in the country and the most successful Democratic president since Truman. She didn’t exactly sit in the White House as first lady and bake cookies, either.

Tightening economy?

Folks, look around. Things are indeed tightening up in the local economy. Even with a little blurb out last week naming Hot Springs, Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas as the booming business spots in Arkansas, we can all see that things are slowing down from the frantic pace we have all enjoyed in the last few years. Now comes word that another builder and developer is in trouble. This time it’s the Brophy Drive development that’s entangled in a foreclosure lawsuit. Some area banks and bankers are getting more than nervous at the slowing of the economic engine in Arkansas. All these lawsuits are meant to protect the assets of the bank and the counter-suits are meant to protect the work of the developers. It is never good to see banks in litigation. It is never good to sue your bank. Banks, you see, have all the money. And as the economy tightens rumors are all over the map about other homegrown developers being at or near this legalistic juncture. Development and borrowing money for big projects is not for the fainthearted. Let’s hope this little slowdown in the local and national economy picks up and picks up soon. NWA and all its many businesses hope to soon see the national economy turnaround. Yes, the pinch is finally being felt here, but not like it is being felt elsewhere – that’s good to remember.

A good barometer of the slowing of the economy is reflected in the number of building permits issued. In June 2006 the Fayetteville-Bentonville corridor of NWA issued 392 permits. June 2007 saw only 316 permits issued. The year-to-date building permits is at only 1,871 – a figure below the 2006 figure.

Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits out on 6th Street is open – just in time for college and the Razorback fans. Smart thinking on their part. But it’s
a tricky turn and an awful guard parking arrangement, but heck this is Fayetteville.

Looks like Chrysler, even after the big sale, can’t help but put out one more year of the popular PT Cruiser. Why? Daddy W. does not know why this little niche car/truck whatever it is, sure does make some folks happy with a gas guzzler. Go figure.

Hawg Town Pizza on Razorback Road, a new bar/pizza restaurant/sports hangout opened not too long ago on the Miracle Mile—that area of Hog land that runs from Donald W. Reynolds Stadium to the UA baseball complex. The new pizza place now wants to sell beer on premise on Sunday. Daddy W. says they’ll get the Sunday nod to sell a cold one.

Never say the folks at Yarnell’s Ice Cream don’t know a good deal when they see it – or make it. The popular Woo Pig Chewie flavor, a delightful vanilla concoction with creamy brownie batter mixed in, is back in the freezer section. The UA sports folks, as always, will get a penny or two off each sale. At almost $6 a gallon, it’s the tailgating ice cream of choice. Woo Pig Chewie.

SWEPCO announced it will set a record for electric usage in August, eclipsing the old record with a new mark of 4,955 megawatts of power. Major electrical users in the area have been asked to cutback during peak times of the day. Wait until you see the bills. Another record on the way.

Clint Storner sure is hamming it up for the Fayetteville Auto Park folks. Now they have gone and dressed him up in a Razorback red jersey to read cue cards with Leslie Basham standing next to the hunk o’ burnin’ love on TV commercials. Please, some junior high or high school give him a job and save the rest of us from these awful spots.

Categories: Legacy Archive