Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's entrance into the Arkansas Senate Democratic primary this week was expected to push conservative incumbent Blanche Lincoln to the left, for fear of losing the base.But in her first television advertisement of the campaign, Lincoln isn't exactly chasing after the progressive vote. Instead, she touts her opposition to the public insurance option and her refusal to support cap and trade legislation -- and even declares herself proudly independent of the Democratic Party. In a spot that seems more appropriate for the general election than for a contested primary, Lincoln works to casts herself above the petty infighting of Washington politics -- which the ad depicts as a scene from "Romper Room." "This is why I voted against giving more money to Wall Street, against the auto company bailout, against the public option health care plan, and against the cap and trade bill that would have increased energy costs for Arkansans," Lincoln says to the camera. "None of those were right for Arkansas. Some in my party didn't like it very much. But I approve this message because I don't answer to my party. I answer to Arkansas." The final shot is branded with the words: "One tough lady." Despite saying she voted against giving "more" money to Wall Street, Lincoln did vote in favor of the initial bank bailout, which Halter has promised will be an issue in their election.
UPDATE: Lincoln spokesperson Katie Laning Niebaum emails to say that the "ad will air from March 5-12 in all Arkansas media markets" and that "it is a substantial buy."