RG Ratcliffe had a conversation with Senate hopeful Mikal Watts, and it makes for some good and thoughtful reading. I am, obviously, not as impressed as some at Watts' self-proclaimed "pro-life" stance, though I'll give him credit for being consistent about it in a way that's rarely seen or heard from Republicans. This is a core-belief issue for me, and I doubt I would ever vote for a "pro-life" candidate in a contested primary when there's a viable alternative available. But Watts' statement on the issue does make me feel better about the possibility of him being the candidate in November. That's no small thing.
Another good sign: Watts seems to do pretty well by the Hackett test. I wish Ratcliffe had asked him more specifically about lessons learned from the Tony Sanchez debacle of 2002, because I think it's pretty clear that running a "I'm like the Republican, but better" campaign isn't going to cut it. It looks like Watts will avoid this trap, but I'd still have liked to hear it more explictly.
I really am excited about the prospect of a high-profile, well-fought primary for the right to take on John Cornyn. I want Watts to be a good candidate who'll get his supporters as fired up about supporting him as I know my preferred candidate will be with his supporters. I want this to be about the excitement that comes from choosing between two good options. I want the folks whose candidate winds up falling short to see their person embrace and wholeheartedly endorse the winner, so that we all feel passionate about moving the battle to the general election. That's what a contested primary should be about, and that's what I want this one to be about. As of today, at least, I feel pretty good about the possibility of getting it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 15, 2007 to Election 2008