Paul Burka goes to Washington and confirms – as much as one can, anyway – that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison really really really will resign the Senate and run for Governor in 2010.
No, I didn’t hear it directly from her. I got it indirectly from a Texas Republican congressman who is a strong suppporter of hers. He got it from her. She has been having regular meetings with Republican members of the Texas delegation (19 R’s, 13 D’s), telling them that she will run and seeking their support. She has received affirmative answers from all but two. One of the holdouts is Sam Johnson. I did not learn the identity of the other, but my guess is Ron Paul. It certainly isn’t Kay Granger, who wants to run for the seat herself. Hutchison will resign from the Senate about a year from now, my source told me, after the legislative session.
Two things: One, as always with this neverending story, I’ll believe it when I see it. Until KBH takes a tangible step towards running for Governor – like, say, announcing her resignation from the Senate – it’s all speculation and rumor and can be proven false at any time. It’s not that I think she doesn’t want to be Governor, it’s that we’ve seen this movie before, and I’m not convinced she wants to fight for it. And as long as Rick Perry is around, that’s what she’ll have to do. How willing is she to get dirty?
And two, I hope that if she does run, the Democrats don’t decide that no one can beat her, so they may as well focus on other things. The KBH that emerges from a nasty primary fight with Rick Perry is going to look very different that the warm, fuzzy, moderate-of-reputation KBH of today. If Burka’s report that Phil Gramm is involved in her putative campaign is accurate, then there will be plenty of material to use in a race against her. Let’s not give up without trying, okay? If the Democrats are ever going to be a statewide party, we can’t afford to be shy.