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There’s playing chicken, and there’s being chicken

Quite the suitable choice of words here.

Suggesting his opponent has something to hide, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday he will not budge on his refusal to debate unless Democrat Bill White releases more income tax returns.

The Republican governor said he will not meet with newspaper editorial boards, either – the same approach he took in the GOP primary.

White hit back, saying his financial records are more readily available than Perry’s and that he will be happy to debate an empty chair if necessary. He said Perry’s “handlers” simply do not want him to answer questions.

“They’re engaged in a game of ‘chicken’ right now. We’ll see who blinks first,” said political scientist Bruce Buchanan of the University of Texas at Austin.

Buchanan said a debate draws the attention of people who otherwise do not pay attention to campaigns and gives voters another view of candidates.

“It’s greatly to be desired,” Buchanan said, but added, “Our campaigns are designed to benefit the candidates, not the public.”

We all know who the chicken is, right? KPRC called him out on this the other night – sadly, they did not invoke the “C” word; you can see a transcript here. You know he’s ducking newspaper editorial boards, too, right? Not that any of it will matter, of course. Perry knows he doesn’t want to share a stage with White, so being called a chicken and being accused of political stunts is the preferable course for him.

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  1. Kevin Sevcik says:

    Bill White makes an interesting suggestion. I think it’d be hilarious to see him debating an empty chair. Or a lifesize cardboard cutout of Perry, with White filling in answers for Perry. Or best of all, debating a TV screen of clips from various Perry speeches. You could pick the best and sanest comments Perry’s made on subjects and White would still clean up.

  2. I’ve been out of Texas for nearly a year, does White really stand a chance? I can’t imagine that he does. Something would have had to change drastically since late 2009.

  3. Brad M. says:

    Maybe we should use the “P” word instead of the “C” word for Perry.