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July 09, 2014 4:49 PM You Still Have To Campaign

By Ed Kilgore

Back in May, I wrote a post entitled “Tom Cotton Ain’t All That” suggesting the Man With the Golden Resume wasn’t looking to be the slam-dunk winner for an Arkansas Senate seat that a lot of Beltway folk seemed to see.

Now the CW is starting to catch up, viz. a US News piece from Lauren Fox and David Catanese suggesting Cotton is turning out to be a “wooden” campaigner with no “common touch.” I love this description:

“He talks like he’s at a dinner party at Bill Kristol’s house. There’s things I like about that, but that’s not the way you want to talk when running around Little Rock,” says one Beltway Republican operative closely following the race who has become measurably less confident about Cotton’s chances.

And this is even better:

“Cotton has a reputation, bless his heart, for being a bit of a cold fish,” says Janine Parry, a pollster and professor at the University of Arkansas.

And as Charlie Pierce explains:

For those of you who do not speak fluent Southern, that “bless his heart” there is nothing less than a stiletto.

Absolutely right. Cotton may still win thanks to the landscape in Arkansas and midterm turnout patterns and money. But at the least he may learn he’s not going to ascend politically just because he’s been proclaimed the Next Big Thing for neocons. As Pierce aptly puts it: “The dreamboat has struck a reef.”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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