I have really enjoyed writing blogs at Rick vs. Kay for the past year. The whole thing started out as a way for me to sort through the issues and find a candidate to support. I am in business in Austin, and Texas government touches my life in all kinds of ways. I have also been active in political campaigns in Texas before there even really was a legitimate Republican presence here.
I also knew and still believe that Bill White has no chance despite what polls may show between now and November, Rasmussen included...
Here are the top ten reasons Bill White has no chance, and why I find it unnecessary to rename and repurpose this blog into Rick vs. Bill. Rick is going to stomp Bill White, and these reasons are independent from anything positive about Rick or the political climate which also favor Rick. These ten things are strictly where Bill White will fail.
1. Bill White loves to write and talk at length. He thinks he is really smart, and he is well-known for writing really long letters with a lot of issue specificity. He also happens to think he can convince people on issues, so he tends to reveal a lot of what he believes. What he believes is not especially popular in Texas or the nation right now. If Scott Brown can win in Massachusetts, imagine the uphill battle Democrats face in Texas with a candidate who has all kinds of long and detailed letters and speeches and public meetings, many espousing liberal ideas that Texans reject, floating around out there.
2. Bill White has marched in gay pride parades. He said he voted against the Texas measure keeping gay marriage out of Texas. While Texans are far more tolerant of gay people than they were 10 years ago, they still like traditional marriage, and Bill White can be painted easily on this one by Rick's allies... maybe not Rick himself or his peeps directly. The panhandle and rural parts of Texas... where Kay performed fairly okay against Rick... they aren't going to go for Bill White.
3. Bill White signed on to an aggressive liberal gun control pact with Mayor Bloomberg and others. Texans like their guns. To win in Texas, White needs to dominate among independent voters. In Texas, independent voters like their guns. So do conservative Democrats like Rick's dad whom he mentioned in his speech on election night. Gun control from a big city liberal is not a winner especially this year when tea parties are still very much in vogue.
4. Houston. We have a problem. White left Houston with massive debt. His fiscal record in Houston is ripe for exploitation. Bill White has made a lot of claims about Houston that are just not true... his stewardship left a fiscal mess in the Houston city government... he also made Houston a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. His Houston record is going to make it very hard for him to win state wide.
5. Bill served under a Democrat president... in Washington. He was probably considered a moderate by Washington liberal Democrat standards but he was involved in some controversial anti-industry decisions during his tenure. He was a federal bureaucrat. A regulator. Anti oil and gas. Bill White has praised the California green energy system that has turned out to be such a disaster. And he is from... Washington. Yes. Washington. Beholden to greens who would kill a lot of Texas jobs with their environmental/energy engineering. Bill White even drives a Prius, which may endear him to Austin and Montrose and college campuses but that won't play in Peoria as they say. In Texas there are dozens of fairly good sized Peorias... Lubbock... Midland... Odessa... Tyler... Amarillo... Abilene... the list goes on and on. Did I mention that Bill White was a Washington liberal bureaucrat in the 1990s? Washington is broken. The television said so.
6. Bill White is a bald, white Obama without the charisma, wihout the speaking skills, and with the baggage ironically of Obama. It won't be all that difficult to paint Bill White as an Obama guy. Bill White has bragged about being an advisor to Obama on policy issues. He endorsed Obama. He won't be able to run from the lead weight of Obama without forcefully disavowing Obama. He won't do that. He once ran an ad calling himself the Hope to Obama's change. Texas gave Obama a double digit loss in the best year in forever for Democrats. Bill White will lose by double digits. Mark my words. I really don't care what any poll says between now and then. It will be low double digits.
7. Bill White by background is a trial lawyer. He was and is against tort reform that is so popular in Texas. Most of his campaign money is from personal injury ambulance chasing trial lawyers. Now that the primary is over expect Texans for Lawsuit Reform to launch resources against Bill White. Big city trial lawyers are not the kind of peeps who win over the counties that Kay or Medina won. He is not in touch with the values of rural Texas or even the suburbs really.
8. Bill White is fired up. In a bad way. His whole schtick is that he is allegedly this moderate, slow talking guy who gets along so well with the other side of the aisle. However in this campaign he has already referred to Rick and his peeps as the "forces of darkness." That makes him sound a little bit off his rocker. He is already running a negative, liberal, partisan campaign and is undermining his carefully cultivated image of this business man who loves and gets along with everyone.
9. Bill White sounds just like Kay on issues. Granted we are dealing with a new universe of voters. Granted Kay was bipolar in going for moderates on some days at least. However, Bill on the stump sounds just like Kay on the stump. They use many of the same statistics. The same talking points. The same flawed or misleading numbers. The same trite talking points. The same bad mouthing of Texas that got Kay into trouble. Rick in many ways is already vaccinated against a majority of the attacks coming his way. Because he has powered through them they are almost less credible this go around. I think Bill White runs a lot of risks of alienating voters who are fatigued and exhausted by the most intense election in modern Texas history. Even more intense than Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama. People don't want to have to think about politics for a while. This gives Rick plenty of time to consolidate Republican support. Kay is even willing to help Rick. Rick can spend the next few months raising money, raising hell, and building up his grassroots effort which seemed to work so well on March 2. He doesn't have to engage daily with Bill White. The reporters will want a break. The voters will want a break. Yet it seems like Bill is itching for a brawl early and often. Big mistake. It will make voters see him just as another Kay but male and Democrat.
10. Bill White is overhyped. He likes to tout his successful elections in Houston, but the truth is that Rick out performed Bill White in admittedly apples to oranges comparison elections on Tuesday as well as over the years... getting far more votes in the same political district than Bill White. Rick had had tough competitors and has overcome huge odds against Jim Hightower in 1990, John Sharp in 1998, a full stable of peeps in 2006, and the most popular politician in Texas plus a Ron Paul lady in 2010. Who has Bill White faced of note? Orlando Sanchez in a city election? Rick is seasoned, battle tested. Bill White getting a high percent in Houston against no name peeps does not translate state wide. Houston is where Rick performed best in the primary... I don't think that was an accident...
Did I mention that Bill White is a liberal trial lawyer who loves Obama, hates guns, and practically bankrupted Houston city government as its leader? He is Chris Bell all over again. By the time Rick and his peeps are done with him Bill White is going to wish he had stayed in the nonexistent senate race. I am sure there are lots of issues that Rick's peeps have been digging up and waiting to use.
Yes, Bill White has no chance. That is why Rick versus Kay the blog will soon come to a conclusion... with maybe a few more wrap up blogs if the spirit moves me. I just don't see this as the epic battle that Rick vs. Kay was shaping up to be in early 2009. I see it as a normal R vs. D campaign in an R year in an R state.
Before the primary election I heard someone call Bill White "DRANO" if Rick made it to the general election... a "Democrat Ranting Against Neverending Optimist"
Optimism... pro Texana as a political religion... will always prevail. In 2010 voters don't want an Ambassador for the Obama administration running Texas.