On the morning of October 3, 1991, on the steps of the Old State House in Little Rock, Bill Clinton announced that he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. It was the same historic place where he had announced for Governor in 1978.

Clinton’s departure from the state in 1992 had negative ramifications for Arkansas Democrats in terms of their arguably most important ongoing resource: the perception that the party was the incubator for political talent. The Democrats’ advantage in possessing more experienced political operatives and a “farm team” of prospective candidates was removed when Bill Clinton took to Washington some of his most able organizers, as well as those who would likely have become the next generation of Democratic statewide and congressional candidates. Some of those individuals would never return to the state.