To paraphrase The Observer, this was the least unexpected announcement in Texas politics history. Obviously, her message isn’t supposed to appeal to people like me, but I’ve read this story twice now and I’m still not exactly sure what her message actually is. This is the bit that encapsulates it for me:
Hutchison said she will to do more with less from taxpayers: “I will spend less, tax less and borrow less.”
Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said Hutchison is correctly assuming Texans are willing to look at alternatives to Perry, but he said a broad “shotgun” approach to policy might not work and said she needs to tell them “what she is offering and how credible it is.”
I guess there are people who will like the sound of that “spend less, tax less and borrow less” stuff, but how exactly is that different from Tony Sanchez’s “scrub the budget” message from 2002? Putting it another way, what does Kay plan to spend less on, and what taxes does she plan to cut? Saying you’ll do these things is the easy part; saying how you’ll do them is where it gets tricky.
KBH is also criticizing Perry for turning down the stimulus funds for unemployment insurance. Naturally, I agree with that, but as the story notes, she voted against the stimulus package in the first place. Sure, you can say, and I’m sure she will, that she disagreed with the idea of the stimulus but once it was approved Texas should have gotten its fair share. That’s the standard logic that all of the self-styled anti-pork crusaders use when they get criticized for their own earmarks. I understand that logic, and if you can get past the hypocrisy it’s perfectly sensible, but does anyone think this won’t be turned into a John Kerry-esque “she was for it before she was against it” flip-flop by Team Perry? I at least don’t have much faith in her campaign’s ability to respond to attacks like that. Ken Herman provides some evidence of her campaign’s maladroitness.
The first time he said it, you weren’t sure you had heard what you thought you heard. The second time, there was no doubt.
The disembodied announcer voice at Kay Bailey Hutchison’s gubernatorial campaign kickoff event was mispronouncing the name of her high school.
La Marque (la mark) High School had been fancified to La Marquis (la mar-kee) High School.
“They keep saying it,” a La Marque cheerleader said to a fellow cheerleader in the school gym where Hutchison announced her candidacy.
On education, Hutchison committed what’s become a common sin among candidates of her generation.
“I want to help to create an education system like I had,” said Hutchison, La Marque High School, class of 1961.
No thanks. I’ll pass on that.
Yes, 1961 was a great time to be in Texas public schools — if you were white and didn’t face learning disabilities. La Marque High School was segregated when Hutchison attended.
Oops. Anyway, what I expect out of this campaign, if you can call it that, is a lot of hot air and name-calling from both candidates, and very little about the problems Texas faces and how they can best be solved. That’s just not what Perry and KBH are about. EoW, the DMN, BOR (and again), and Greg, who goes after the KBH needs Democratic votes meme, have more.