Monday, June 27, 2005

San Antonio Express News Makes Me Laugh

Apparently there is a void of Democratic candidates this year (for the original article click here). This is an incredible claim to me. As Kuff and I have both written, there seems to be Dems running from the top all the way to the bottom of the ballot.

Here are the speculated candidates for Gov:

Chris Bell, a former one-term congressman who lost re-election to his Houston-area seat in the bitter redistricting battle of 2003, has launched an exploratory committee for the state's highest elected office.

Other names have been floated over the past few months — former Comptroller John Sharp and Laredo businessman and defeated 2002 gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez, to name two — but only Bell has formalized an exploratory bid.

The Express-News is kind enough to point out the recent defeats in races for the big five, showing that Dems have not won an election for a statewide office since 1994. What is the problem? get power, one needs power, and right now the Democrats don't have it, said Bill Miller, an Austin-based political consultant and longtime adviser to Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick.

"Careers advance by virtue of winning," Miller said. "Right now, with Kay Bailey (Hutchison) out of the race, Rick Perry's going to win that primary and a Democrat is going to have to run one hell of a race or have the best set of issues that you can imagine."

It is great that everyone is counting Strayhorn out. This will work to Democrats advantage. If Strayhorn wins the interest in the campaign will go through the roof. That is unlikely but fun to think about. The better situation is that Strayhorn loses, but gets above 40% in the primary. This will signal a change in the electorate as women and moderates have left Perry's side-- two groups that can easily swing towards Bell.

Miller, who did consulting work for Bell while Bell was on the Houston City Council, said he would be an interesting candidate "because he combines a serious side with a great sense of humor as good as anyone since (former Gov.) Ann Richards."

The most shocking thing is that people think that all Republican's are immune. Ann Richards was ahead in the polls one time in her run for governor, and that was Election Day. A smart ground game and and effective media message will give anyone a chance.

The most important thing to remember is that this is the 4th session that we have not worked out the problems with education, health care, or our prisons, and our legislators have all said (regardless of party affiliation) that it is do in large part to Perry's lack of leadership. Chink. Media strategist go one step forward and say that in this conservative climate (where the R's control every branch of government) the right and the far right can't agree and won't any time soon. Chink.

I believe that the more people in Austin are going around saying this, as well as a statewide amendment fight against the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment and the municipal races in Houston, the better chances for a D to win statewide. The infrastructure and resources will already be set up for who ever the candidate is, and they will be well trained and ready to go. Chink!

But Bell, or any other Democrat for that matter, can only become a viable candidate if the planets align and someone finds a chink in the GOP armor.

"You need a weakness in the majority party, a scandal, and you need a horse," Jillson said.

Democrats can win this thing if we all just stay focused on the prize next November.


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