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Wynne! Wynne!

I was in Wynne on business Thursday. As I made the nice drive up Arkansas Highway 1, I was reminded of one of my favorite Arkansas political stories.

It’s the story of Gov. Win Rockefeller’s stop in Wynne near the end of a long day of campaigning.

After having been in a number of east Arkansas towns during the course of the day, the governor had lost track of where he was.

He launched into his stump speech.

“It is a pleasure to be here today in . . .”

He paused awkwardly, and his aides behind him on the podium began to whisper: “Wynne. Wynne.”

The governor started the speech again.

“It is a pleasure to be here today in . . .”

Again, an awkward pause.

And yet again the aides whispered, this time with a bit more urgency: “Wynne. Wynne.”

At that point, the governor whirled around and yelled at them: “I know what my name is. I want to know where I am.”

Like so many great Arkansas political stories, this one might be apocryphal. One former Rockefeller aide has promised me it is based on a true story, though perhaps embellished a bit through the years.

It’s a bit like the recounting of the Friday afternoon when a group of state Capitol reporters rushed into the office of Gov. Frank White to ask him about some new controversy.

According to one of the reporters who was there, White responded to their shouted questions: “It looks like we have opened up a box of Pandoras.”

Paul Greenberg later would begin using the term on a regular basis in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorials.

The by-then former governor called the newspaper one day to claim that he had never said it.

But Paul decided it was too good a term not to use occasionally. So the newspaper would assume Gov. White had said it. If he hadn’t, he should have.

With Govs. Rockefeller and White no longer still with us, we’re going to assume both stories are true.

What are your favorite Arkansas political stories?

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