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Clinton time at the state Capitol

Surprise. Bill Clinton arrived later than expected at the state Capitol this morning and stayed past noon. 

The former president and Arkansas governor was about 40 minutes late for a meeting with senators in the Senate chamber and spent about a half-hour visiting with old friends and discussing the  state of the state and nation. Among the throng was Secretary of State Charlie Daniels. He says Clinton “talked with folks that have been here a long time and he talked about the stimulus plan.”

Clinton later walked over to Gov. Mike Beebe’s second-floor office, and the two of them, along with state Sen. Mary Ann Salmon of North Little Rock and others, walked up one  flight to the House chamber, where Clinton addressed a joint session of the House and Senate. 

During his half-hour speech, the former governor told lawmakers to be thankful of Arkansas’ Revenue Stabilization Act, the law that prohibits deficit spending by the state. Clinton says Arkansas’ economy is much better than many other states.

Afterward, Clinton visited with a variety of people on the House floor and in the House Quiet Room, including Rep. Uvalde Lindsey, D-Fayetteville, who served as Clinton’s state budget director in 1983. Lindsey says he got to chat with the former president for about 30 seconds.


Rocky Mountain High On Obama

Arkansas delegates for Hillary Clinton outnumber those for Obama more than 4 to 1 here in the Mile High City, where the Democrats kick off their national convention today.
But it seems even the state’s Clinton fans are on an Obama high as the convention opens.
Reps. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, and Marion Berry, D-Gillett, had been lukewarm in their past endorsements of the presumptive nominee, but the pair put on a hard Obama sales pitch to Natural State delegates at a breakfast Monday morning.
After that, in a conference call with reporters back in Arkansas, Clinton delegates from the 1st Congressional District said they would “enthusiastically” support the Illinois senator.
They were equally effusive in praise for Joe Biden, Obama’s vice presidential choice.
“I have no qualms about supporting this ticket at all, it’s a great ticket,” said Gary Phillips of Blytheville.
Former State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher, who served alongside then-Gov. Bill Clinton, also took a big gulp of the Obama Kool-Aid.
Fisher has been to every Democratic convention since 1976, she said.
“Our party is about unification,” she said. “We’re all under one tent. We’re going to leave this convention indivisible for Sen. Obama. It’s time we put this primary behind us.”
We’ll see as the week progresses whether the delegates who represent the rest of the 18 million Hillary Clinton voters feel the same way.