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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 1:22 pm 
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Nice article from RCP on the shifting of allegiances from Democratic to Republican in Arkansas and Gov. Huckabee in the middle of it all.

Arkansas: The Clintons Don't Live Here Anymore
By Rebecca Berg - May 11, 2015

HOPE, Ark. — Nearly a quarter-century after Bill Clinton introduced his small Arkansas hometown to America, Hope is a living shrine to its most famous native son.

Clinton’s first home, on South Hervey Street, has been preserved and converted into a museum. A few blocks away, a former train depot houses the town’s visitor center, filled with even more mementos of the 42nd president’s upbringing and his political rise. At the site where the Julia Chester Hospital once stood, a plaque commemorates Clinton’s birth there.

But there is no marker noting the birth there, nine years later, of another hometown hero: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, who returned to Hope this week to announce his second bid for the Oval Office.

In his speech to an overflow crowd of roughly 2,500 people at a community college, Huckabee said he hoped to bring America, as he had brought himself, “from Hope to higher ground.”

“Here in this small town called Hope, I was raised to believe that where a person started didn’t mean that’s where he had to stop,” Huckabee said.

He did not mention by name either Bill Clinton, who famously invoked “a place called Hope” during his 1992 speech to accept the Democratic nomination for president, or Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee in 2016. He didn’t have to; the connection was obvious.

But the event served not only as a stark reminder of the Clintons, whom Huckabee will use as a foil in his White House race, but also of the Natural State’s sharp political transformation in their absence. The state that was once the last bastion for the Democratic Party in the South has become one of the most firmly Republican states in the country — so much so that even a beloved former Arkansas first lady might not be able to win the state in a general election.

“I do believe Hillary would have carried Arkansas in 2008,” said one Democratic strategist with deep ties to the state. “I think it’s unlikely she carries it in 2016.”

Such a dynamic would until recently have been unthinkable. During Bill Clinton’s nearly 12 years as governor, Hillary Clinton was an equal partner in policy and politics, and her popularity grew along with her husband’s.


Read the rest:

He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. -Jim Elliot

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