March 23, 2009
Meet Tom Schieffer

Real good interview by BOR's Todd Hill with prospective Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Schieffer. I've said before that while I'm glad to see a Democrat with some stature take steps towards the Governor's race, Schieffer is a big unknown to most of us, and he carries some baggage that needs to be dealt with. He did a pretty good job of addressing the latter, and I feel like I have a better idea of who he is and how he might conduct a statewide campaign. These are very good things, and they definitely help. I'm still hoping for some real competition for him - and no, I don't mean this - if for no better reason than to apply one of the big lessons from 2008, which is that a spirited primary benefits us all, but this is a step towards making me comfortable with the idea that he may be the standard-bearer next year. Go read and see what you think.

Meanwhile, Clay Robison mentions those two dirty words, as spoken by Governor Perry:

So far, it's just talk, fighting words to keep the conservatives in his corner. But Gov. Rick Perry is threatening to keep legislators in special session this summer if they don't tighten spending enough to suit him.

"If it (the budget) grows unacceptably ... I'll keep them here are all summer," one attendee quoted him as saying during a private meeting hosted by the conservative Texans for Fiscal Responsibility last week.

On the one hand, my historical observation is that Governor Perry's approval rating tends to go down the more he gets involved with the legislative process. As such, a prolonged dick-measuring contest with the Lege won't do much to endear him with the voters. On the other hand, much of that disapproval comes from the type of people who don't vote in Republican primaries, and he doesn't care about those people. All he cares about are the one million or fewer who will vote in March. So those polls don't matter much to him.

And on the one hand, if he is concerned at this point about the general election matchup as well, keeping the Lege in Austin all summer would hamstring one potential opponent, State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who can't raise money while in session. On the other hand, that same restriction applies to Perry as well, and if KBH is out there raking in the dough, he may get anxious to begin catching up. So who knows? Other than the fact that this sort of consideration is all that will matter in the special/no special decision, there's no way to tell.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 23, 2009 to Election 2010
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