Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rick vs. Kay competition making Republicans stronger... or vulnerable?

Anna Tinsley in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram makes the case that there will be fallout from the battle between Rick and Kay (link). Excerpt follows...

Texas Democrats watching the state’s top two Republicans fight for their party’s gubernatorial nomination are glad that Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison have apparently abandoned the Republicans’ 11th Commandment, established during Ronald Reagan’s run for California governor in 1966: Thou shall not speak ill of another Republican.

And they hope that the GOP gubernatorial battle creates enough division within the party to help Democrats in the general election and for years to come.

"There probably will be so many bad feelings . . . that it will benefit the Democratic Party," said Steve Maxwell, chairman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party. "For now, we’ll sit back and watch. It’s only going to get better."

Republicans say Democrats shouldn’t get too comfortable, because this gubernatorial race — pitting Perry, governor since 2000, against Hutchison, senator since 1993 — will energize, not divide, their party.

"It’s a spirited race, and sometimes that’s good," said Stephanie Klick, who heads the Tarrant County Republican Party. "One of the things that’s fair game in any campaign are issues."

I think I agree with Stephanie Klick... a spirited race could bring in new energy to the party in Texas... I have heard from campaign characters on both sides that new donors are coming in, new volunteers, new leaders... Rick's peeps stress to me that they have blown the doors off of every fund raiser they have had...

I think if you try to measure which side is more negative it was clearly Kay for many months... Rick hardly ever even mentioned her name... then Rick pulled about even during her announcement tour with a fun set of gags carried out by the Young Conservatives of Texas... then Kay got banned from google for inserting secret metatags about "Rick Perry gay" among other terms... they also set up anonymous fake YouTube accounts and started showing up at all of Rick's events... I think it's pretty hard to top the gay rumor one though for any campaign at any time... that will scar Kay for a long time...

I think the supporters of the two sides will get over their person losing and back the winner, but there will be damage no doubt... it would be naive to say the new energy will entirely cancel out the new weaknesses from the internal strife...

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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.