June 06, 2008
Big Time comes to town

I'm afraid I'll have to miss this event.

Build a Republican campaign for Tom DeLay's old congressional seat and Dick Cheney will come.

The vice president is scheduled to visit Houston billionaire Dan Duncan's home in River Oaks on Friday for a private, campaign fundraising event for congressional candidate Pete Olson of Sugar Land and the Texas Republican Party.

Olson is running for the 22nd Congressional District seat held by Democrat Nick Lampson of Stafford. Cheney is no stranger to the local political turf.

When DeLay was entangled in campaign ethics charges in late 2005, Cheney was the main attraction at a fundraising event in Houston for the seasoned Republican lawmaker. After DeLay resigned in 2006, Cheney raised campaign cash here for Republican Shelley Sekula Gibbs in her unsuccessful write-in campaign against Lampson that year.

So he raised money for DeLay, and DeLay resigned in disgrace. He raised money for Shelley Sekula Gibbs, and she lost. Now he's raising money for Pete Olson. Trifecta, anyone?

Cheney will make no public appearances on his round trip from Washington; his voyage will be billed to the Olson and state campaigns, according to spokeswoman Meghan Mitchell.

Cheney, who has extremely low approval ratings in voter surveys and was criticized in former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan's new book, is more of an asset for Olson as a money magnet than as a campaigner, University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray said.

"When he has a 20 percent approval rating, you don't shop the guy around," Murray said. "But presumably, he has some ability to draw out some of the faithful contributors who have been sitting on their wallets until now."

Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill said, however, "The vice president is very popular among Republicans, and these are Republican donors that he is talking to."

Yes, he does symbolize the modern-day GOP very well. Have fun talking to yourselves, y'all.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 06, 2008 to Election 2008