"Less than 72 hours after promising to put Texas' interests ahead of her campaign, Senator Hutchison missed a key vote on a liberal judicial nomination," said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. "Senator Hutchison has once again put her own interests above those of the Texans she represents."
Shortly after the vote, Hutchison critics - exactly reflecting the talking points of Perry operatives - began posting comments on news web sites saying Hutchison was the only senator to miss the vote. Conservatives say Hamilton is liberal on abortion and public prayer.
There was no way the GOP was going to stop the Obama appointment. And Hutchison has pledged to be in Washington when votes are important. But the Perry campaign's criticism underscores its strategy to convince voters Hutchison can't serve effectively as a senator in Washington while running against him for governor here in Texas.
A missed vote is a missed vote... I think people are beginning to grumble more and more that for every vote Kay misses, she is probably also not there twisting arms, fighting with every fiber and every bone in her body, and all that other stuff she has been saying...
A missed vote is the tip of the iceberg of inaction... she might have been able to get some of her colleagues to bring over to her side... she might have been able to introduce some legislation or amendments or do something procedurally with her seniority to actually make a difference...
I have been told by a few people associated with senate campaigns who say their candidates are personally and emotionally offended at Kay's assertion that no freshman could do her job as well as she could, when she is barely there for votes and definitely not there for the "real work."
One candidate with considerable energy experience apparently has been telling small crowds in recent days that he thinks he could be a better senator than Kay especially on cap and trade, since he actually knows something about cap and trade "unlike her"... I am paraphrasing what I was told. He might have been more measured with his words than that.
Another candidate with considerable business experience has apparently been fired up this week and telling private groups that... again I am paraphrasing... a senator with actual business experience would be a lot more helpful than someone who "has been absent so much she probably forgot where Harry Reid's office even is..."
Seeing her weakness against Rick in the polls, one of these candidates is already telling some of his top money peeps "bleep her" if she tries to back out of resignation and tries to run again in 2012. A fair emotional reaction... probably something that will die down as time passes however.