Texas Republican primary voters believe that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson should devote herself fulltime to fighting President Obama’s policies for her full term
o We asked the question:
Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement: I would prefer that Kay Bailey Hutchinson devote her full attention to the United State Senate fighting Obama’s misguided policies until her term expires in 2012 and not run for Governor.
o Seven-in-ten (69%) of Texas Republican primary voters agree with the statement
o Only one quarter (24%) disagree with the statement
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Haley Barbour's comments about Kay staying and not resigning picked up by the Wall Street Journal...
"We now have two reasonably popular Republicans in a bloodbath with each other," publisher Kronberg says. "Everybody who is an active Republican understands the loser's supporters are going to be put into exile; they won't be able to play in politics anymore. So it's going to divide the fund-raising base, it's going to divide the supporter base and it's going to damage the party for years to come."
Houston beer distributor John Nau, a chief fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's gubernatorial campaign, says the sagging economy is affecting both beer sales and how much people donate to causes (though he said Hutchison remains on target to raise what she needs).
"The economy is definitely impacting all aspects of American life," Nau said.
Under the Dome confirmed that less beer has flowed to distributors responsible for stocking Texas retailers.
Through September, total shipments from breweries to distributors were down 0.5 percent compared to the same date a year earlier, according to data analyzed by the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas.
In contrast, total beer shipments increased more than 4 percent by the end of September 2008 compared with a year earlier. Key factor this year: Shipments of popular "premium" beers like Bud Light and Miller Lite — which accounted for 8.7 million of 14.2 million barrels shipped — were down nearly 1.5 percent.
Mike McKinney of the wholesalers' group said he didn't know why there's been a drop, nor did he sob in his soda.
"I wouldn't cry and doom and gloom," he said. "The industry is down slightly."
The Brady/Geithner confrontation has been replayed repeatedly on cable news shows.
"I think what Kevin Brady did in challenging him in talking about this economy was the right thing to do... A jobless recovery is not a recovery," Hutchison said when Meet the Press host David Gregory showed the clip this morning and asked if she agreed.
When Gregory pressed for a direct answer -- should Geithner resign, as Brady suggested - Hutchison basically said he should not.
With three other senators at Gregory's table (Lieberman, Durbin and Feinstein), Hutchison argued that if everyone who shares some blame for the country's economic problems should be sacked, "then we shouldn't keep our jobs either.... The president, Mr. Geithner and the Congress are all responsible."
"Senator Hutchison finally admitted that she is part of the problem with the out-of-control spending in Washington," said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. "After supporting record deficits, bailouts and earmarks during her more than 16 years in Washington, most Texans would agree with the Senator's statement, 'We shouldn't keep our jobs either.'"
Hmmm. Doesn't that contradict Perry's old standby that Texas is better off if Hutchison stays in Washington? Admittedly, Perry has said she has fallen down on the job in many ways. And Miner is playing directly off the senator's own words. But while Hutchison's entire premise is that Perry should lose office, this may be a turning point, with Perry arguing that she should lose her job.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Perry served notice that wasn't going to let the issue go. In an interview during a Republican governors meeting near Austin, Perry noted that Hutchison missed a procedural vote Tuesday - called cloture - aimed at blocking consideration of the appointment in the first place. Hutchison skipped that vote because she was in Houston for a campaign rally and fundraiser with Dick Cheney. Her vote wouldn't have made any difference, but Perry took the opportunity to ding Hutchison anyway:
"Look, missing votes is missing votes. And the people of the state of
Texas understand that if you're not at work on Thursday but you're there on Friday, you were absent. You weren't getting your vote done."
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the spot, an announcer says it's time to play Taxpayer Jeopardy and the contestant picks the category. The ad has two goals: One is to paint Hutchison as part of a spendthrift Washington. But the second goal is more subtle. Hutchison wants to frame her votes on federal earmarks in terms of popular Texas projects that she's helped bring to the state. Perry wants to counter that message by describing earmarks as part of the political process in which Washington politicians trade favors - I'll vote for your earmark if you vote for mine. Hence, the reference in the ad to the infamous bridge to nowhere. Here's the script:
Contestant: "I'll start with Washington D.C. bailouts for 300."
Announcer: "She voted for the 700 billion dollar Wall Street bailout just one
day after she told a group of Texas Taxpayers she was against it."
Contestant: "Who is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison?"
Announcer: "Correct. Pick another category."
Contestant: "Wasteful pork for 500."
Announcer: "This U.S. senator voted to spend 223 million on the infamous bridge to nowhere in Alaska."
Contestant: "Who is Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison?"
Announcer: "Right again. Choose another category."
Contestant: "Obscene federal spending for 1000."
Announcer: "This senator campaigned on eliminating the deficit but has since voted for over 95% of all federal spending bills increasing our national debt to over $12 trillion."
Contestant: "Uh, who is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison?"
Announcer: "You are correct. And here is your final question. She is the only Texas senator to have earned a pork barrel spender award three times from Citizens Against Government Waste."
Contestant: "Who is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison?"
Announcer: "Congratulations, you win Taxpayer Jeopardy.
Contestant: "No, with so much wasteful spending by Kay Bailey Hutchison, we all lose."
This is a very effective spot. I give it 9 out of 10. It may be a little too busy in places. It is both positive and negative, positive in setting up Perry’s record, negative in its unspoken but obvious attempt to link Hutchison to Washington. It’s obvious where this is headed. Step one is “Washington is broken.” Step one, the seeds of which have already been planted, is that Kay Bailey Hutchison is the candidate of Washington values. We saw them in the beginning of the commercial: DEFICITS, BAILOUTS, PORK BARREL SPENDING. Step two is probably going to be very unfair — I think a lot of that so-called pork was very important to Texas –but this is a war that is going to be fought in 30-second skirmishes, and so far the Perry campaign has a clear grasp of what its message needs to be and the Hutchison campaign has neither grasp nor message.
What can I say? This is what we have been waiting for? Everything about this spot is dreadful. I can’t even give it a positive grade. It is going to lose votes. She has no energy. Her body language radiates defeat. The fighting words have no defiance in them. The subject matter is wrong. The message is wrong. And where was an editor when somebody wrote a script that raised the red herring of a state takeover of health care? That’s from outer space. Anyone who is backing her and sees this spot is going to be not just disappointed, but dismayed. Even horrified.[SNIP]Maybe George Strake Jr. is right. If this is the best she can do, she ought to quit the race.
CEDAR CREEK, Texas -- Hosting more than 20 of his colleagues outside the state capital tonight, Gov. Rick Perry said that Republican governors are the ones carrying the torch for the GOP in opposing an overreaching Democratic administration in Washington, as the RGA made a strong case for the philosophical leadership of the party.
Just as Senate Democrats were unveiling legislation to reform the nation's health care system, Texas' governor called for a simpler approach to governance that emphasized tax cuts, lower spending and less obtrusive regulation.
"By and large, it's been those Republican governors who have had the courage and the will and the discipline to push those types of changes through," Perry said at the opening public session of the Republican Governors Association Conference here tonight. "We have a federal government today that is wanting to ... create one-sized fits all policy for all of the states. I happen to think it's time for a substantial number of governors to have the courage to stand up and push back on Washington, DC."
It was the strongest message of the featured speakers tonight, but one that could define the gathering as Republican state leaders celebrate double wins in New Jersey and Virginia. Perry, as well as Govs. Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal and Mitch Daniels, emphasized the idea of states driving policy and competing with one another, rather than the federal government implementing one universal policy on all 50.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Oh those governors...they're just so darn funny.
At Wednesday's Republican Governors Association meeting, the top one-liner went to Texas Governor Rick Perry.
After being introduced by newly elected Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Perry took a friendly swipe at his colleague's state.
"Virginia is for lovers. Texas is for jobs."
Given that this year's Republican Governors Association meeting is taking place here in Texas, reporters today asked RGA ChairmanHaley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, to weigh in on the Rick Perry-vs.-Kay Bailey Hutchison GOP primary for Texas governor.
Barbour said that the RGA doesn't take sides in primaries, but that he was personally backing Perry. "I personally think Gov. Perry should be re-elected," he said.
And then he added this: "I hope Sen. Hutchison will stay in the United States Senate for the rest of my life."
Asked why he supported Perry over Hutchison, Barbour replied, "I thought he deserved re-election." He then went on to say: "I would hate to lose Kay Bailey in the Senate."
But here's something known: Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison won't quit her U.S. Senate seat until after the Democratic-majority Congress acts, probably next year, on health care and climate-change legislation.
That's what she revealed last week — for once not airing her resignation thoughts solely on a radio show.
Early next month, look for her to submit the paperwork needed to appear on the March GOP primary ballot.
Why then? She needs to dispel doubts about her commitment to challenging Gov. Rick Perry, against whom she chose not to run in 2002 and 2006. The move also will give her an excuse to launch TV ads before end-of-year holidays divert attention from politics.
Some in Perry's camp think her latest resignation update unsettled supporters who've long waited for her to focus on the race.
Hutchison advisers, including Jim Francis of Dallas and John Nau of Houston, insist Hutchison staying in the Senate reflects both her courage and home-state loyalty. Besides, Francis said, "if she left the Senate on the eve of one of the great political fights of the century, Republican primary voters would not have appreciated it."
Kay Bailey Hutchison’s campaign is falling apart. Her heart is clearly not in it. Yesterday’s Houston ”event“ with Dick Cheney was only the latest in a desultory series. Two-hour delay? Five-minute speech? A crowd of 150?
A FrontBurnerian emails:Ugh. She shaved her legs for that? Call me old fashioned, but I’d envisioned a ballroom fundraiser with hundreds of fat cat contributors, anxious to hobnob with the former veep and delivering bundles of checks, regardless of whether she attended or not.Say what you will about Rick Perry (and I tend to say a lot, most of it unflattering), the man is in tune with the temper of the times. Tea parties, secession, Obama is a socialist — it all fits with the mood of his party, especially with the energized base of his party. Hutchison’s only choice was to appeal to the broader public and bring them back into the GOP primary. Instead, she’s tried to endrun Perry on the right (see Monday’s attack on the gas tax). She brings no credibility to that effort — and no passion either. It’s purely a ploy. And against the master of ploys himself, not a very good one.
Never much of a spellbinder, Hutchison fails to stir the audience or, for that matter, articulate a compelling message as to why, by waging a primary battle against a sitting governor, she is forcing Republicans to choose sides and risking the implosion of the party.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
"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.
The Republican primary is open to any registered Texas voter, but Hutchison's campaign is convinced that Democrats won't participate. Instead, they hope Cheney will cut into Perry's strength among Republican stalwarts.
"I wasn't too sure about him when he was in office, but I like the fight he has shown since he left," said Jim Springer, a Houston retiree who was among more than 100 supporters at Hutchison's event Tuesday. "I wish he would run (for president) in 2012."
• Houston radio host Edd Hendee warmed up the crowd, and he’s still angry about the margiins tax that Perry pushed in 2006 to cover part of the cost of property tax cuts. Before the event started, the DJ played, among others, the Toby Keith song and “Right Now” by Van Halen. Ken Herman tells me “Right Now” is very popular at political events.
• Cheney spoke for about five minutes and Hutchison for about 10. The only other person on stage was Ray Hutchison, the senator’s husband. “Mercy,” Cheney said as he took the stage to a very warm reception, a crowd of about 150 instructed not to wave their signs too high so that they wouldn’t obstruct the view of the half-dozen television cameras behind them. He made only a couple of passing references to Perry, never mentioning him by name. The closest thing he said to a direct hit was this: “Texas needs a true conservative champion in the governor’s office. We westerners know the difference between a real talker and the real deal. And when it comes to being conservative, Kay Bailey Hutchison is the real deal.”
• Hutchison and Cheney worked the short rope line, such as it was, after their brief speeches. There weren’t supposed to be any questions from the press, but Herman got one in that you’ll have to watch in the video below.
Cheney and Hutchison stood before a spray of American and Texas flags on a makeshift stage in an art deco building that was Hobby Airport's original terminal. About 150 Hutchison supporters showed up.
The Cheney appearance was a major moment for Hutchison's campaign. In show business, corralling a big name is called a "get." And in the constellation of conservative Republicanism, Cheney is a get – a former vice president and prodigious critic of the Obama administration.
Perry has his own "get" – former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is expected to campaign with him before next March's GOP primary. Perry is focused on his party's right wing, a constituency expected to show up in force in the primary. And Palin plays exceptionally well to that crowd.
As for Cheney, while his favorable ratings among Americans overall remain low, he's popular among the GOP faithful. Still, Hutchison needs to bring November Republicans who do not usually vote in the primary to the ballot in March, and it's not clear whether bringing Cheney to Texas helps woo that crowd.
"He adds nothing," said Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Legal Institute, a leading social conservative activist and a Perry supporter.
Clearly, the Hutchison people hope otherwise. Cheney delivered a five-minute speech, citing Hutchison's record of supporting tax cuts in Washington and, he said, leading the fight to kill the income tax in Texas.
Ms. Hutchison, one of the Lone Star State's most popular politicians, was expected to mount a formidable challenge to Mr. Perry in one of the long-anticipated GOP primary battles of next year's elections. The GOP winner is an overwhelming favorite to be the next governor in this Republican state.
But Mr. Perry has built a large lead in polls with less than four months to go to the March 2 primary. In part, he has scored points using what's shaping up as a popular strategy for many candidates during this election cycle, with rhetoric portraying Ms. Hutchison as a Washington insider out of touch with down-home Texans. He also has accused her of waffling on a pledge to resign from her Senate seat, which she had initially said she would do in October or November.
"It really does appear that it is slipping away for her," said Calvin Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Ms. Hutchison has accused Mr. Perry of not understanding the suffering of many Texans in the recession, among other charges. But political observers say the 16-year Senate veteran, initially elected on an outsider platform in 1993, has found herself swimming against an anti-Washington sentiment among conservative activists that is particularly strong in Texas.
Splitting her time between Texas and Washington has been "a deadly mistake," said Royal Masset, a GOP political consultant in Austin who is not working for either side.
"This could not have been more perfectly set up for Rick Perry," Mr. Masset said. "This election is coming at just the right time for him, when there is this fear of socialism among some Republicans based on what is happening in Washington, and she is seen, fairly or not, as part of that Washington establishment."
Ms. Hutchison initially said she would resign her Senate seat to run. But she also pledged to stay in Washington to cast critical votes against President Barack Obama's health-care and cap-and-trade energy legislation, both of which are unpopular with conservative Texans.
Ms. Hutchison said again last week she would resign -- but not until after the March primary. Mr. Perry's campaign jumped on the comment, suggesting she would not step down at all if she lost. Ms. Hutchison denied that.
"Rick Perry can crow all he wants about standing up to Washington, but there is only one candidate who is fighting against President Obama and his policies," said Hutchison campaign spokesman Joe Pounder.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Right now in this unscientific poll people are reacting negatively against Cheney's endorsement of Kay (link). Excerpt follows...
James Henson, the director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, said support from a staunch conservative such as Cheney helps Hutchison combat claims from the Perry campaign that she is not a true conservative.
"A lot of this is clearly about trying to burnish her conservative credentials," he said. "It's hard not to read it that way when you come right down to it." During Tuesday night's endorsement in Houston, Hutchison campaign staffers tweeted updates with pictures of the two and quotes from Cheney hailing Hutchison as a true conservative.
"We westerners know the difference between a real talker and the real deal," Cheney said in Houston. "When it comes to being conservative, Kay Bailey Hutchison is the real deal." Some El Paso Republicans, though, said the endorsement would not sway votes in the Republican primary.
Republican Party chairman Michael Moore said Cheney does not live in Texas or understand the state's issues.
He said Cheney is respected in El Paso but his endorsement does not carry as much clout as that of other Texans like former president George W. Bush.
Bush has not endorsed either candidate.
"It just has no bearing on the issue of who should be governor of Texas," Moore said about Cheney's endorsement. "He is obviously supporting her based on his knowledge of her and her work in the senate but that doesn't necessarily transfer to the governorship."
Cheney's blessing represents the highest profile endorsement Hutchison has gotten so far. Support from the former vice president, who remains popular with many conservative activists, could help Hutchison shore up her right flank.
Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said Cheney may feel more comfortable about Hutchison's knowledge of national security issues — an area that continues to provoke passionate speeches from the former vice president.
Jillson said the nod could help Hutchison with some social conservatives who view her with suspicion, but only a little.
"You'd rather have it than not, but it's not a game-changer," Jillson said.
Dick Cheney told a crowd of Kay Bailey Hutchison supporters tonight that Texans know "the difference between a real talker and the real deal." And he said Hutchison "is the real deal." The former vice president traveled to Houston for a rally and fundraiser for Hutchison. About 200 sign-waving supporters gathered in the lobby of an airport museum that was once the original termal at Hobby airport.
Cheney never mentioned Hutchison's rival, Rick Perry, by name. But he did recall something that Perry once said about Hutchison when they weren't rivals in the same race. Said Cheney, "It's no wonder her opponent called her a true champion for Texas. I couldn't agree more."