Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Infighting over Texas while putting America at risk

Familiarity often breeds contempt in the political realm. I know the familiar Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, is not perfect. I haven't agreed with all of his decisions; but I've agreed more often than not. He has been around a long time having served 6 years as Lt. Governor under George Bush and is going on his 10th year as governor.

Another one of Texas' less-than-perfect politicians is challenging his governorship. At what cost is this challenge from Senator Kay Baylee Hutchinson going to come? Senator Hutchinson has been in office since 1993, a total of 16 years in office. Clearly both candidates have the quality of experience.

My question is this? What is the popular Republican senator willing to risk by running against the popular Republican governor? The senator has the endorsement of Dick Cheney; President Bush' right-hand man. That is ironic considering the governor was previously the President's right-hand man. Governor Perry counters with the endorsement of the ultra-popular Sarah Palin. That endorsement is interesting as the rogue lady from Alaska bucks the notion she should endorse another Republican woman.

At tally time in 2010, the great state of Texas could be minus the services of either of these candidates. How could that happen? Is it possible? It certainly is and much more so thanks in large part to Senator Hutchinson's quest for governorship.

First, by challenging Governor Perry, she is forcing him to spend millions on a primary campaign that could otherwise be saved for the general election. Also, the battle is sure to be heated and neither party is going to look better to their constituents after the messy campaigns. It is very possible, that the big winner of the Perry versus Hutchinson battle is going to be Democratic nominee Bill White.

The Houston mayor is probably not going to get much of a contest from eccentric former independent Kinky Friedman. I still don't think Texas is ready for a governor named Kinky! Mayor White's biggest competition was former President Bush employee, Tom Shieffer, who served as the President of the team for the former owner of the beleaguered franchise. Mr. Shieffer, wisely and very strategically threw his support behind Mayor White. Can the Republicans learn nothing from this show of support within the party?

I am certain that the good senator has Texas' best at heart. Perhaps she knows the governor better than all of us and feels it is time for a change. But seriously, how much is she willing to put on the line for this? If she wins the primary, her seat in the Senate could up for election. Are the republicans certain they win back that seat if she decides to vacate. For now, she has stated she will not vacate the seat, but will she change her mind after winning a primary? Let's hope not.

At any rate, instead of 4 more years of Rick Perry and a Republican in Texas' U.S. Senate seat; we could end up with 4 years of left-of-center Bill White and a big question mark in the Senate.

While I'd gladly support term limits in congress and the Texas governorship, I prefer the safety of the status quo.

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