Monday, December 14, 2009

Texas: Palin/Perry vs. Armey/Hutchison?

A rumor about Sarah Palin's plans -- whether she will personally campaign in Texas for Gov. Rick Perry, whom she endorsed in February -- caused me to get my "Eastern panties in a wad," to quote one American Spectator blog commenter.

Erick Erickson, a Perry supporter, is sanguine, whereas I'm concerned about Palin becoming involved in a feud with supporters of Perry's challenger, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. As explained at the American Spectator:
Hutchison is strongly supported by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Texan whose FreedomWorks organization has been directly involved with the Tea Party movement. Armey actively campaigned for Hoffman in the NY23, and a Palin endorsement of Perry would in effect divide an emerging conservative alliance.
During the NY23 campaign, I asked Armey off-the-record about the Perry-Hutchison race, and since it was I who stipulated that it was off the record, I'm not going to characterize his response. At any rate, one of Perry's supporters added this comment at the Spectator blog:
KBH is a huge RINO like Scozzafava who recently earned "Porker of the Month" from Citizens Against Government Waste and was named a "Republican Big Spender" by the Club for Growth. Hutchison is pro-choice. She voted FOR global warming legislation earlier this year. She skipped two ACORN votes. She skipped the partial birth abortion ban vote in 2003. She voted for Hilda Solis and Obama's National Service plan.
That commenter linked to anti-KBH site Washington Kay. Maybe I'm placing too much weight on Armey being pro-KBH. At any rate, I think Palin could be much more helpful if, as also rumored, she campaigns for Marco Rubio in Florida, as I Twittered to Eric Erickson:
@ewerickson If Palin would just make a 2- or 3-day swing for Rubio soon (i.e., between Christmas and Jan. 1) that would make HUGE difference
BTW, it was my Twitter friend Cubachi who clarified that Palin had already endorsed Perry. In the newspaper business, there was always the copy desk to catch my stupid screw-ups. In the blogosphere, that's the job of commenters. Thanks.


  1. I wish Debra Medina would get more press. She would take off like a Texas tumbleweed if more Texans were aware she is in the race. If Texans will search Youtube and listen to her speak, chances are they will be impressed.

  2. Interesting commentary. Re: Christmas-January 1, I've heard Palin say she'll start helping candidates in January. I expect her to wait until January.

    What I'd like to see more commentary on is the issue of endorsements from folks who don't live in the particular district. What factors should play into decisions like that? When is it okay to endorse in a race in which you aren't eligible to vote and when is it not okay? More commentary on this issue is what I'd like to see.

    As you've noted, she's already endorsed Perry but the issue is more about active campaigning, is that correct? Palin isn't one to go about things half-hearted. Being a big supporter of hers, I follow her closely and do think she'll put all she's got behind any endorsement she chooses to give.

    Interesting stuff. I look forward to more.

  3. One example regarding Palin's not being half-hearted.....remember her Facebook posts on Hoffman. Though simple, it had a big impact. It will be interesting to me to gauge the level of involvement she opts for and the impact of different strategies. We all know NY23 was a different universe from the Texas race. I am a political junkie who also loves numbers like Karl Rove does. This is going to be the highest level of entertainment for me personally, to watch her strategies and gauge the impact in numbers. I'm ready to break out the popcorn come January.

  4. I cannot imagine that conservatives in Texas would get behind KBH so they wouldn't be at all divided by the Palin endorsement. I don't care WHO endorses KBH. There is NO WAY I'll vote for her.


  5. The governor's race in Texas is interesting. Many of us Texas conservatives were put off by Perry's obsession with toll roads, his endorsement of Guilina and his diktat that all girls in Texas would receive the Gardasil innoculation. Seemed sort of unconservative to a lot of us, if you know what I mean. Still, he has good hair, and he recovered well by enthusisiatically endorsing the Tea Party movement. KBH has sort of been a placeholder in the Senate. Cornyn has done the heavy lifting, some of it very stupid, like the Charlie Crist thing. Still, KBH is not very visible at at time when we need very visible conservatives. So go, Perry.

    I would like to see Palin endorse Rubio, but has he asked for it? I think the mood of the Republican grassroots is pretty well known to be pro-Rubio and probably pro-Palin, but I don't know how that translates into Florida in general. The VA and NJ Republican gov candidates didn't want her to campaign for them, but things are changing for Sarah very quickly with the release of the book and some very good tv appearances.

    I bet you that the Florida Republican "establishment" will go nuts if Palin endorses Rubio. I would expect a complete Scozzafava.

  6. The issue is so simple (says this TX resident and political science professor), KBH could easily retain her Senate seat. Perry could easily retain the Governorship. A loyal party member should NEVER run against an incumbent who would otherwise win.

    So, KBH after 18 years inside the beltway gripes that Perry's 10 years as governor is too long! As the primary campaign progresses, the battle is messy and bloody providing a split in the party, an opportunity for an otherwise weak Democrat and a risk of losing two critical positions. Why? For Kay's personal edification and no other visible reason.

    Perry isn't perfect. KBH has lots of baggage from Washington. The array of heavyweights aligning on both sides signals disarray.

    We're doing it again!

  7. I am down here in Texas (Registered Voter) and I keep telling anyone who will listen that Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a George W Bush Water Carrier. Take a look at her voting record in the Senate. She Voted for TARP she voted for the confirmation of Tim Geithner. Go back through Michelle Malkin's post on voting on different initiatives, starting with Shamnesty and TARP. Kay Bailey Hutchinson was ending up on the wrong end of almost every vote. She is hoping we all suffer from that famous Short American Attention Span.

    Kinky Friedman threw his hat in the Ring for Governor, he ran as an Independent last time. This time he wants to run on the Democrat Ticket.

    Perry isn't stupid he witnessed the tea parties first hand down here. It looks like he got religion ;)

  8. Here is Kinky's Campaign site, you ought to try and get an interview from him Other. Kinky appears on The Factor and Imus In The Morning.

  9. To endorse Rubio now and do a campaign swing for him during the Christmas holiday season would be stupid. From today until the BCS Championship Game in January, no one is paying any attention to politics. People are already going on vacation, to parties, Christmas shopping etc.. Many political reporters will soon be on vacation, cable news networks will be running on minimal staff, and it would be difficult to turn out crowds. After the BCS game all political attention will focus entirely on Obama's State of the Union address, and on the analysis of the speach for about a week thereafter.

    I doubt if Palin will make any endorsement of Rubio - or any other candidate - until a couple of weeks after the State of the Union address. The Florida primary is not until August 24, so there is lots of time. In fact, I don't think she will endorse Rubio until March or April. Timing is everything. Too early an endorsement loses its impact; too late and its worthless. Palin has shown impeccible timing so far - so lets leave it up to her.

    As for supporting Perry, the reasons are quite simple. If you are going to run for President in 2012, you want as many sitting Governors on your side as possible, to use their political machines to raise money for you and to get out the vote for you. Sitting governors are far more important than Senators for endorsements as their political machines are always active and operating - Senators let their political machines go dormant until the year before their reelections. A good example is Crist's endorsement of McCain. Even though it was late, Crist was able to immediately activate his political machine to help McCain edge out Romney in the Florida primary.

    KBH dislikes Palin and vice versa. If KBH becomes Texas Governor, she will use her ground forces to help deliver Texas to Romney or some other RINO in 2012. Perry and Palin like each other and are both conservatives. If Palin runs, Pery will likely endorse her and use his machine to help her raise money in Texas and turn out the vote for her. If Palin wants to run in 2012, the decision is very simple - she needs to endorse Perry and make sure he wins! To heck with Dick Armey. Palin is as popular with the Tea Party as Armey, so she has little to lose by going against him and endorsing Perry in Texas - and much to win if Perry is reelected.

    Also, Palin's endorsement and success in getting Governors elected in 2010 will be far more helpful to her 2012 ambitions than getting Senators and House members elected.

  10. Palin's been a Perry backer all along, so this isn't exactly a surprise. The other analysis to help see where she's coming from is the RGA relationships she's cultivated for years.

    Incidentally, that's also why I don't think she'll get into the Crist-Rubio mix. Could be wrong, and don't think she'll campaign for Crist... but I don't think she'll campaign against him either.

    If Rubio triumphs in the primary, I could see her backing him then.

    Just my 0.02, FWIW.

  11. I agree, Lana. I don't think any conservative will vote for KBH - they'll continue to support Perry. He should be able to gather those votes rather commandingly. Plus, I think the Tea Party guys will still support Perry, no matter how much Armey has been supporting KBH.

  12. Perry is no conservative stud either. He strikes me as being in the Bush mold, more of a big business Republican. There's no conservative dog in that fight.

  13. Kinky is out.

    He is running for Ag. Commissioner.

    IIRC, Kay was ahead in the polls. Then, Sarah endorsed Perry. Kay suggested that it didn't matter. Kay tanked. Kay was going to resign, but not now, well not yet, but she still will, after it doesn't matter. (Did Kay criticize Sarah for resigning before Kay announced her resignation, before Kay renounced her resignation, and rescheduled her resignation? Check it out. Kay is way behind. Her campaign was a disaster - "is" a disaster if you think it isn't over.

    Sarah and Perry are allies. Sarah will fight for Perry. Actually, she endorsed Perry. The fight may be over.

    If it only takes one Texas Ranger for one riot, it only takes one Sarah endorsement for one Texas election.


    But, consider your source. Dick is from Kay's neck of the woods. Then they were in D.C. Maybe Dick has reasons that don't apply to the general public.

    And you think Sarah endorsing Rubio would not offend anyone, but Sarah endorsing Perry did? Say that out loud. Listen to yourself. Say it again. Did you convince yourself? No?

  14. My feeling here in Houston Texas is that Perry has a small but extremely vocal leftist opposition, mirrored by a similar group on the right. Think of it as being flanked by two packs of attack chihuahuas.

    Hutchison has exactly zero crossover appeal (will not pull any Dem fence sitters), and is greeted as enthusiastically as wet socks by the grassroot Right. Therefore she is the obvious Republican Party candidate.

    There is an arguement to be made that Perry has been in office too long, but I don't think KBH is the one to make it - there's too much pot versus kettle action to be made.

    I'm on Kinky's mailing list, and have not gotten any note indicating that he's abandoned his gubernatorial ambitions, but then his campaign website hasn't been updated since mid-November. He's actually a rather Libertarian, free market kind of guy, so long as he stays out of the Honeysuckle Rose.

  15. why doe Kay want to take on Perry? Has he done anything wrong/illegal? No. Is he too liberal for her? No. I think Kay just wants to raise her own profile. She should instead stay in the Senate and speak out more. She's good for the country being where she is now.

  16. I don't live in Texas and I'm no great fan of third- (or more) terms in any office, let alone executive ones.

    But if I were a Texas Republican choosing between Perry and Hutchison, I would sooner be dragged by my ankles through a cesspool than vote for a sitting Senator for any executive post.

    I'd refuse to vote for a sitting Senator for the Senate, except that keeping them in that asylum means not consigning some other poor sap to its deleterious effects on one's mental functions.

  17. Texas Pete is not made in TexasTue Dec 15, 08:43:00 PM


    Perry is a strong conservative. KBH is a weak RINO. Nuff said. I liked the analysis that said Perry has a very vocal set of opposition from the far left and from the kooky right. Amongst the conservative GOP base, Perry is creaming Hutchison. She is just wasting a bunch of money and hurting the Republican party at this point. And hurting her own legacy. She'll go down as a divisive figure who harmed the Republican Party by spending 15-20 million dollars to attack one of our country's best governors while maybe resigning maybe not from the Senate. KBH should drop out and apologize now for the harm she has already caused all for the sake of her own ego only.