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About the Tommy Lee Jones bandwagon

I really don’t think this will amount to anything, but I have three things to say about it anyway.

In recent weeks, an idea of Houston attorney Geoff Berg’s turned into a Facebook page and then became a website that he hopes might spark a movement. The message: “Draft Tommy Lee Jones for Senate.”

Berg, a left-leaning commentator and host of the radio show Partisan Gridlock on KPFT, says he is “absolutely serious.”

“I can’t think of another Democrat in Texas,” Berg says, “that has the necessary name ID, that has positive name ID, that would be able to raise money, and that would have at least the potential to attract string voters and a substantial number of Republicans.”

1. I would hope that if we’ve learned anything from the Kinky Friedman saga, it’s that projecting your political desires onto a celebrity candidate with an enigmatic political history is at best a roll of the dice. With all due respect to Berg, I’ll remain on the sidelines until I hear Jones talk policy in a coherent manner.

2. While I recognize that we don’t likely have any better choices for the 2012 election, finding some old white guy, even a famous old white guy who could have a puncher’s chance at winning, isn’t a long-term fix for what ails us. To his credit, Berg doesn’t suggest that it is, and there’s certainly something to doing whatever it takes to win the next election, which we haven’t done statewide in far too long. Just keep this in perspective, that’s all I’m saying.

3. I certainly understand the appeal of a candidate who has “the potential to attract … a substantial number of Republicans”. We had a candidate like that in Bill White last year, and in a more normal electoral season, his ability to draw those Republican votes might have carried him across the finish line. But I don’t think we can run any more of those non-threatening, moderate, crossover types. The lesson I believe we need to take from the last election, the budget debate, and the current activism is that a candidate whose appeal is that he or she will do a better job of running government as we know it can’t win. We need candidates who will say that what we’re doing – what the Republicans have been doing – isn’t working, and what we need isn’t someone who can do it better but someone who will do it differently. There are plenty of people who have been saying this for awhile now, and I’m sure they’re wondering what took me so long to say this. Simply put, I don’t think that was a message that would resonate before now. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t know that it will be more successful now. But I do know that the old way has run its course, and pursuing it further is a sure loser.

Again, I think this is much ado about nothing. Jones himself has had no comment about the effort, not even a perfunctory “I’m not ruling anything out” statement, which says to me this is little more than a fantasy football exercise. But hey, that’s what blogging’s for, right? PDiddie has more.

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One Comment

  1. Jeremy Morgan says:

    Why isn’t anyone talking about Jessica Farrar? Her position on many issues is very progressive. She’s an experienced leader in the Texas Assembly whose most important bills die in committee. Ms. Farrar is a seasoned legislator whose youth will position her to become a senior leader of the Senate. (Of course, she has to run, win and be re-elected.)

    Winning campaigns are not based upon last year’s campaigns but next year’s. Winning campaigns become the models that many campaign managers use during the next election cycle.

    Her residence in Houston gives her a base in the most populous area of Texas and her campaign strategy could be a unique blend of an 18th century campaign using 21st century technology.

    Imagine this scene.

    Upon Jessica Farrar’s return to Houston over 150,000 people jammed Minute Maid Park to hear her final speech of the campaign on Sunday, November 4. In her closing Ms. Farrar said, “Our campaign is about empowering each Texan to believe in their hearts that government will listen to their needs and learn from their experiences to enable them to make their lives better and their children’s lives better, yet.“

    I have some ideas on how this could be done.