Monday, March 30, 2009

Rick and Kay spar early and often...

The lugubrious Gardner Selby published a nice must read piece on the state of the Rick vs. Kay race yesterday morning (link). Excerpts follow:

At a time when Republicans nationwide are openly pondering how to reunite their party, two of the highest profile Republicans in Texas have begun to trade jabs in a race to see who will be the next governor.

Perry insists he's not thinking about any election during the legislative session, and Hutchison has said she won't formally declare her challenge until summer.

But in other ways, their clash has obviously begun. Hutchison has rapidly assembled her campaign team, while the Perry re-election campaign has dug for dirt on her husband, Dallas bond lawyer Ray Hutchison, at Dallas City Hall.

Meantime, the likely ballot foes have sparred indirectly over issues including federal stimulus money (both dislike it, but Hutchison said last week that Perry should have hunted a way to get unemployment money while avoiding federal strings) to million-dollar bonuses for managers of a state investment fund (Perry attacked the bonuses, while Hutchison suggested he was trying to punish one of her campaign supporters).

What looms is a cage fight on the national stage that threatens to split and weaken the party.

"There will be blood," said consultant Mark McKinnon , who advised former President George W. Bush and the late Democratic Gov. Ann Richards. "Doesn't matter who you're for. It will be fun to watch the shoulder pads crack."

There will be blood, Mark McKinnon says. And it will be fun to watch. Is Mark McKinnon a fan of blood within the GOP?

One awkward moment in Selby's otherwise fine article is at the end...

Guests interviewed outside Hutchison's event hailed her approach and Perry's service as governor. Most also said they'd support whoever survives the primary.

"He's done one super job," Austin lawyer Pete Winstead said. "He's been in office long enough."

Lauren Kuehnel, who made food for the gathering, was noncommittal.

"The race is not for another year," she said. "Don't we have a long time?"

Kay's caterer is undecided? That is worthy of mention?

In the AP version of the story (link), that part was left out, but it did have this appropriate picture...

Notice the body language. Rick is sort of in your face and Kay is sort of standoffish. Rick is wearing casual clothes, while Kay is a bit more prim and proper. Rick is probably telling Kay a joke, and Kay is probably not a fan of Rick's humor. I am reading a lot into this picture, but I think it does tell 1000 words.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.