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Governor Hutchinson was given a chance on CBS Morning News today to congratulate Joe Biden for winning the presidency.

He couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it. Nor can any other elected Republican official in Arkansas, afraid of the Trumpers, I guess.

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Hutchinson was asked during an interview that began with COVID-19: “Are you ready at this junction to say the words ‘President-elect Joe Biden?’ ”

Hutchinson was not. Best he could do: “Well, it’s very likely that Vice President Biden will be the next president of the United States.” And here comes the but:  “You want to give time for the process to work.”   He claimed the president had cited “important constitutional issues” in Philadelphia. The interviewer was having none of it. He said whatever issue Trump has raised there (apparently a reference to inconsequential properly postmarked absentee votes that have been given an extended return deadline by a court) won’t change the outcome.

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“What more do you need to say, ‘Congratulations Mr. President-elect?’ ”

Still no go for Asa. “I think you have to give it a little more time.”

He tried to invoke 2000 when a razor-thin margin in Florida extended a final decision for George W. Bush until December. He said only the media had ascertained a winner, not the General Services Administration.

Again, the interviewer wasn’t having it, noting that was a single state with a few hundred votes at issue versus five states and tens of thousands of votes.

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Still, no. “Vice President Biden is the likely winner,” was as far as Hutchinson would go. He even lent comfort to the Republicans who think the election wasn’t fair by saying  people should be patient so they could have confidence in the result. “Let’s don’t undermine the election,” he said.

Unsurprising and typical Republican performance. It’s in keeping with the classlessness Trump has demonstrated throughout his reign. He did chuckle modestly at the interviewer’s suggestion that Hutchinson might be a candidate in 2024.

No matter. Biden won. Hutchinson’s candidate lost. Convincingly.