Saturday, April 19, 2008

Will Texas voters elect this clown AGAIN?

Despite only getting 40 percent of the vote (with the courtesy of rounding up) in 2006, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday he is running for re-election in 2010.

Well, I expect he will have one, and just one, Republican primary opponent, in what should be a bruising dust-up campaign two years from now.

Yes, you heard me right. One.

And only one.

Who that “one” is, and how that race might turn out, coming right up with some more analysis.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will indeed challenge Perry, and I believe win. And, not as a Republican, which I most certainly am not, nor as a Democrat, which I am not registered as, either, I would pay primo money to watch that fight. As Texans know, they have already had a tussle or two in the last session of the Lege. As for why I think he’ll win, read below, where I list the reasons why he would be a tougher opponent for Democrats than Perry.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson will again play Hamlet, then play chicken liver, just as in 2006, and opt not to run, then make up some bullshit excuse for why.

Trust me on this one, she doesn’t have it in her. She knows she won’t come close with collecting Religious Right votes and if Dewhurst announces before her, he’ll line up more of the financial conservative vote in suburban Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

So, scratch Kay. If McCain loses in 2008, she might accept a Republican VP slot in 2012. If not, she’ll likely retire from the Senate.

As for Democrats, they probably would like to run against Perry, and certainly would do better against him than Dewhurst. Dewhurst is less hard-line conservative, especially on Religious Right issues, than Perry. He also is simply smoother as a person. Plus, he has a metro power base in Houston. As for Gov. Helmethair vs. Dewhurst on other issues, the Trans-Texas Corridor is a biggie. Now, secretly, Dewhurst may like some of its provisions. But, so far, he’s not come off as sounding any way in favor of it.

That said, the 2006 election showed Democrats that, with state demographics, they have a better chance of beating any Republican who goes too far right. And, without Grandma Strayhorn around this time, Dem deep pockets will line up early behind a candidate.

But whom? Chris Bell might deserve another shot, but I don’t know if he’ll take it.

I’m going to throw out State Sen. Royce West. He’s denied the itch before, but by 2010 he will have spent enough time in the Texas Senate to want to move on. That’s unless he reaches some non-attack quid pro quo with Dewhurst and runs for lieutenant governor instead. He’s got enough connections through his law practice, I believe is acceptable to more progressive Democrats, has a solid legislative record, and through the recognition of being Senate President Pro Tem, has party leaders he can line up.

We’ll see how this turns out, starting about 18 months from now.