Right after the epic shellacking of last year's midterms which put Republicans in resounding control at all levels of state government?
Admittedly, the odds don't seem that great right now. But if anyone has a shot at winning in Arkansas, it's the Clintons...and Hillary was in Little Rock on Saturday sounding like a candidate who intends to do just that.
Oh, and doing what we all do every day: making fun of The Donald.
“Donald Trump, finally a candidate whose hair gets more attention than mine,” Clinton quipped at a Democratic dinner here. “But there’s nothing funny about the hate he is spewing at immigrants and families — and now the insults he has directed at a genuine war hero, Sen. John McCain.
“It’s shameful, and so is the fact that it took so long for his fellow Republican candidates to start standing up to him,” she said. “The sad truth is if you look at many of their policies, it can be hard to tell the difference.”
Clinton made her comments at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Little Rock, in front of a crowd of about 1,500 Democrats. It was a brief, half-day homecoming for Clinton, her first visit to her de facto home state since she announced her candidacy in April.
In her keynote address, she gave an impassioned version of her stump speech, talking about paid leave, childcare, equal pay for equal work, universal preschool, and refinancing student debt. She reiterated her promise to hold individuals on Wall Street accountable for actions that lead to economic crises.
And she criticized the Republican field as a generic whole. “They may have some fresh faces, but they are the party of the past,” she said. “Trickle-down economics has to be one of the worst ideas of the 1980s. It is right up there with New Coke, shoulder pads and big hair. I lived through that. There are photographs. And believe me we’re not going back.”
After arriving in town late Saturday afternoon, Clinton visited the house she and Bill Clinton lived in when they first moved to Little Rock from Fayetteville, after Bill Clinton was elected state attorney general in 1977. She also made a brief stop at the Clinton Presidential Center, and drove by their old 1992 campaign headquarters, before arriving at the Verizon Center to keynote the dinner. She was scheduled to fly out Saturday night after her speech, an aide said.Whether this trip was just testing the waters or the beginning of an all-out attempt to squeak out a win, it's no stretch to imagine that bringing their home state back to the blue team next year would be quite meaningful for the Clintons. And even if the idea of winning the state doesn't stay on the table, a strong showing might at least provide enough coattails to bring their state back from total GOP domination.
However, for what it's worth, PPP came out with an Arkansas poll just before the last midterms which had Jeb leading Hillary by only 4 points (46%-42%)...and who knows what her own pollsters are telling her right now.
Here's the full speech from Saturday:
(The audio gets quieter around the halfway mark, though it's still audible)