Everything’s Bigger in Texas
Today is primary day in Texas. The big show is the governor’s race, which may come down to a runoff between incumbent Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and . . . you know, the Truther. (She insisted afterward that she’s not a Truther, but when a candidate is asked, “Do you believe the government was any way involved with the bringing down of the World Trade Center on 9/11?”, the correct answer is ‘no.’)
Perry’s campaign is hitting “Kay Bailout” with a web ad calling her “Earmark Queen”, a parody of the Sweedish pop group ABBA’s 1976 “Dancing Queen,” which after a meaning left me yearning for the simple, old-fashioned values of the Demonsheep. It seems like KBH never really put together an ironclad argument about why Perry didn’t deserve another term, and the state seems to be doing pretty well, particularly compared to other large states like California, Michigan and New York, that seem abysmally mismanaged . . . The Democrats think they can knock Perry off in the general, but I’ll want to see some polls on that.
NR’s John J Miller noted, “For months, [Hutchison] has promised to resign her Senate seat, win or lose – she made the pledge over and over, including in her interview with me. So far, however, she hasn’t quit. Assuming she doesn’t pull an upset, a lot of establishment Republicans will urge her to break her promise, on the grounds that the GOP doesn’t need the problem of having to defend a Senate seat that won’t be up until 2012. (It wouldn’t be her first broken vow: In 2006, she ran for a third term in the Senate, despite saying that she would serve no more than two terms.) Yet conservatives may be happy to take a gamble in 2010, on the assumption that if Hutchison resigns, Perry would appoint someone like Michael Williams to replace her.”
Over at Patterico’s Pontifications, they noticed “The conservative backlash from Obama’s first year hasn’t helped the moderate-by-Texas-standards Hutchison as she’s dealt with unpopular issues like the Stimulus and bailouts . . . this probably doesn’t interest most people outside of Texas and there’s no reason it should, but now even Washington is treating Kay like the Rodney Dangerfield of politics. The House Press Gallery website has a “Casualty List” of retiring and deceased House and Senate members [at the link, click Casualty List in the left sidebar]. The Senate side includes this entry:
Hutchinson (R), TX
She’s been in Washington since 1993 and they can’t even spell her name.”
Despite the big names, there have been few glaring policy differences to turn this into a Toomey vs. Specter or Rubio vs. Crist style race that quickens the pulse, and the smash-mouth Texas campaign style hasn’t drawn in a ton of outside interest. As I noted three weeks ago, “For the better part of a year now, I’ve gotten daily e-mails from the campaigns of Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, each one laying out some new outrage perpetrated by the other. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the amount of hyperbole used in press releases.”