June 02, 2002
Ahead of the curve

Back in April I printed this excerpt from Joshua Trevino's blog, in which a former coworker of Josh's who is now on Ron Kirk's campaign speculated that Karen Hughes resigned in part because Dubya and the national party are worried about the 2002 Texas races. Today in the "Personality Parade" section of Parade magazine, the following letter appears (reprinted due to lack of linkage):

Q. I applaud Karen Hughes' decision to return to Texas to spend more time with her husband and son. But was that really the only reason she quit as counselor to President Bush?

A. No. President Bush asked Hughes to buck up their state's Republican Party, which is in danger of losing this fall's governor's race and the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Phil Gramm. Such a defeat would be a major (ed. note: surely he meant to say "major league"?) humiliation for the President. Hughes, 45, is intimately familiar with the Lone Star State's rough-and-tumble politics, and Mr. Bush is counting on her to save face for him and the GOP.

Remember, you heard it in the blogosphere first! Take a bow, Josh.

For what it's worth, the state GOP is focusing on voter turnout and winning half of the more than 4000 partisan seats in this election. They do have some obstacles to overcome, including a proposal to enforce ideological purity:

Some Republicans fear that at least one item up for consideration at the convention could work against that mainstream appeal. It is a proposal that the party require its candidates to assume all core positions of the party platform.

Opponents believe that some of the more conservative planks of the platform -- such as strict opposition to abortion or a return to the gold standard -- could scare away many middle-of-the-road voters.

The gold standard? What century are we in again? Party platforms are generally little more than the distilled beliefs of the True Faithful. Real politicians, who recognize that they need the support of people here on Planet Earth in order to win elections and govern effectively, generally ignore them. The best thing the state GOP could do for Democrats like me is to force all their candidates to subjugate their beliefs for those of the True Faithful.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 02, 2002 to Election 2002