January 25, 2009
Kay and Rick, Rick and Kay

So Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry were rallying supporters yesterday for the primary they'll eventually have for Governor, which I'm already sick to death of since it seems like it's been going on since 2005. It's a whole lot more heat than light - Bailouts! Abortion! Positive happy warriors! - and I don't imagine that will change much in the next 13 months. It is interesting that KBH has lined up as much establishment support against a sitting Governor who hasn't been indicted for anything as she has, and it's interesting as Evan and BOR note that some of these folks owe Rick Perry for a cushy appointment. But expect there to be a lot of stories almost exactly like this one as we go along, because there really isn't much else to say. Neither one sees any need to change anything; both of them will spend vast amount of time burnishing their own credentials and pooh-pooh-ing their opponent's. Clip 'n' save for later, it's all the same from here on out.

Two other points to note. One is on the inevitable question of KBH's immediate future.

Although Hutchison has said she plans to step down from the Senate before her term is up in 2012, she said she hasn't decided when that will be. It will be no earlier than the end of this year, but she could wait until the 2010 election, she said.

I'm telling you. No special election till 2011, if at all. She's not going anywhere unless she's forced to do so.

And on the matter of whether or not she really means it this time:

Asked if there's any reason at this point for news organizations to say she's not running for governor, Hutchison replied: "No."

"I will have a formal announcement this summer, but in our state you have to file legal papers before you can ever ask someone to support you for governor." She started a gubernatorial campaign committee in early December, saying then she was exploring a run for governor.

She said today: "I thought the signals were pretty clear, but it takes some people longer" to understand.

Maybe the fact that people have thought she'd be running for Governor in every election since 2002 has a little something to do with that. I'm just saying.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 25, 2009 to Election 2010

She obviously intends to run as evidenced by the transfer of her federal capaign funds so no doubt between now and the primary next year things are going to get very interesting to say the least.

What will make it all the more interesting is watching the Democrats - it may take Democrats voting in the Republican primary for Kay Bailey Hutchison to win. At which point we may see Rick Perry running as an Independent which will make it even more interesting depending on who the Democratic candidate is.

Bottom line is he will run. And probably win. Even as an Independent. Unless he manages to completely mess up this legislative session. Which most expect he won't because if he manages to keep Texas solvent, he will have the advantage over Kay Bailey Hutchison. And no doubt will run commercial pointing that out. No doubt referring to her as Kay Bailout Hutchison which has already cost her the support of the conservative Republicans and even some of the moderate Republicans. Having more money in her war chest than Rick Perry is not going to guarantee anything.

The real question is who the Democratic candidate will be. A viable candidate this time might be able win by default simply because if both Perry and Hutchison run a majority of voters may be so nauseated by both of them that a viable option may prove to be just that. The problem is that so far there doesn't seem to be a viable candidate.

Maybe someone new, and viable, will emerge during the upcoming legislative session. Someone the people will take notice of.

Otherwise it will be a two-horse race and neither will be a Democrat.

Posted by: Baby Snooks on January 25, 2009 11:22 AM

Baby Snooks seems right on the money. But god help us if, out of a state of 24 million people, KBH and Rick Perry are the best leaders we can find.

Posted by: Dennis on January 26, 2009 6:20 AM

Whoever loses the Republican primary will not run as an independent. In a large state such as Texas without the party structure and base to help get the vote out an independent has no chance. Just ask Strayhorn.

Posted by: cb on January 26, 2009 12:53 PM
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