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Why Craddick’s speakership is in trouble

I really don’t think I can sum up why Tom Craddick’s hold on the Speakership is in trouble better than this article has done.

Lawmakers backing House Speaker Tom Craddick plan a strategy meeting here today to map “a new course “in the wake of a challenge to his re-election by fellow Republicans, a key participant said Friday.

“We’re going to plan and strategize and map out a new course for the whole state of Texas,” Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said as he drove to the Amarillo airport late Friday to catch a flight to the state capital.

Craddick spokesman Chris Cutrone and consultant Bill Miller said they didn’t know anything about a meeting.

Though Chisum said he believes Craddick will successfully fight off challenges by Reps. Brian McCall, of Plano, and Jim Pitts, of Waxahachie, “it was kind of an assault on his leadership style, so we’ve got to talk about that. … You’ve got to sit down and say, ‘OK, how can we do better?’ Or maybe we need to get all on the same page if we’re going to do the right thing for the people of Texas.”

Chisum suggested there would be “a change of style, a little bit” to involve more lawmakers.

“We’d like to get … back to having the House more run by the members,” he said.


[Chisum] said he wasn’t certain whether Craddick would attend the meeting, which he said would be at the state Capitol, but added, “I know some of his staff people will be there.”


Chisum said the group wants to figure out why lawmakers are so set on change.

“We want to see why we had so many … especially Republicans that would go out and seek the company of Democrats to unseat the speaker,” he said, referring to the support from both parties claimed by each challenger in the GOP-majority House.

“That’s kind of concerning because they lay their political career on the line when they do that,” Chisum said. “It’s kind of just a little self-examination time, and hopefully lay out a plan that we can kind of get this behind us pretty quick, because a real hard-divided House is not going to be fun.”

How clueless and out of touch can you get? There’s dozens of books on leadership at your local Barnes and Noble that will tell you how effective leaders communicate with their charges so they can understand their problems and frustrations, and how they get out in front of issues like this so they can head them off before they become full-blown crises. Maybe someone should give Craddick a copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as a belated Christmas present. With any luck, he’ll have more free time this session to read it.

Elsewhere, Eye on Williamson has an update from Travis County and a good explanation why some Craddick Dems may indeed go down with the ship. Check it out.

UPDATE: Want more evidence that Craddick is clueless? Here you go.

Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick released a list Thursday of the state representatives who were supposedly supporting the Midland Republican’s effort to retain his leadership position.

One of our first clues that the list wasn’t rock solid (other than the fact it included Waxahachie Republican Jim Pitts, who the same day announced that he would challenge Craddick) was that Craddick didn’t correctly spell the names of some of the lawmakers he claimed had pledged their loyalty. We figured that if they were truly aligned with him, he would at least know their names.

No word on whether Dallas Democrat Helen Giddings (on Craddick’s list as “Helen Gidding”) or Corsicana Republican Byron Cook (listed as “Bryon Cook”) are still supporting Craddick.

Oops. Link via BOR.

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One Comment

  1. Mathwiz says:

    Maybe someone should give Craddick a copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as a belated Christmas present.

    I have an even better suggestion! (This book was written by a conservative, as you might guess from the foreword’s author, so I don’t know if he’d appreciate the irony. But I really can’t think of a more apropos book for Craddick – or for Bush, for that matter.)