AUSTIN – The Legislature had barely left town when the two biggest political names in Texas started sounding campaign themes – Rick Perry touting the state as a good place to do business and Kay Bailey Hutchison lamenting his lack of leadership.Perry and Hutchison are on a collision course for the Republican nomination for governor in the March GOP primary, the most anticipated Texas political race in more than a decade.They share blue-chip Republican pedigrees – an incumbent governor and veteran U.S. senator, both with high name identification, conservative credentials and the ability to raise big money. But each will take a decidedly different path."What he has to do is find some kind of campaign fire that elevates him by either mobilizing a group or in some way diminishing her – which is a risky strategy because of her popularity," University of Texas political scientist Bruce Buchanan said."What she has to do is not get down in the mud with him," he said, noting Perry's history of roughhouse campaigns.
Too late there. Kay has been far more negative than Rick thus far. This week alone, she has misfired in her poor campaign attacks, but they are still attacks. It is still mudslinging.
I think Wayne is still focusing too much on the social versus fiscal conservative angle. Rick has the pro life wing nailed down but not the HPV wing. Rick is increasing in stature among the fiscal conservative wing as well, while Kay is becoming known in snickering chattering activist classes as Kay Bailout. At the same time though Rick is associated with toll roads and Kay is trying her best to cash in on the anti toll road phenomenon, which goes counter to Rick's campaign consultant's comments about it being a populist versus an elitist. Rick may be populist on some things, but Kay is making very determined populist messages as well. Rick is definitely less of an elitist though.
Go read the whole Wayne Slater article if you get a chance. It is pretty lengthy.