Hutchison's decision comes roughly one month after she was badly bested by Gov. Rick Perry in a primary fight that was once seen as hers to lose. During that campaign, Hutchison repeatedly pledged that she would resign her seat in the aftermath of the primary -- win or lose.
Smart political operatives, however, were always skeptical that Hutchison would step aside if she lost and, as primary day drew closer and it became more and more apparent she would come up short, conventional wisdom congealed around the idea that she would ultimately go back on her word for two reasons.
First, resigning her seat in the wake of a loss would be an unsatisfying end to a political career that some believed might ultimately end in the White House. Hutchison entered the race against Perry as the most popular politician in the state but left it with much of that shiny veneer rubbed off. She can now use the next two years to rebuild that image and burnish her legacy.
Second, if Hutchison did resign, Perry would have the ability to choose an interim successor who would then almost certainly have a leg up in the special election to serve out her remaining two years. The idea that the person who had just all-but-ended her political career would also be able to pick her replacement was an unsavory one that Hutchison almost certainly wanted to avoid.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Joe Pounder, the relentless former McCain aide who spent the winter with Kay Bailey Hutchison's bid for Governor of Texas, has moved on to the next hot GOP primary: Florida.
A GOP source tells me Pounder will be Marco Rubio's Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications, working with Alex Burgos who has been down there since June 2009.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The 20 Republican members of Texas' congressional delegation have signed a letter to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison urging her not to resign her Senate seat – something she pledged to do during her unsuccessful bid for governor.
A cynic might suspect that a campaign is underway to provide her political cover to do something many suspect she wants to do anyway -- shelve her promise to resign from the Senate after the health care debate. Certainly, many GOP strategists (including Cornyn) hope she stays, to avoid having to defend the seat. Letters of this sort are meant to become public; after all, the House members could convey their advice privately easily enough.
House members who crossed the governor (by endorsing his rival) may not be keen to get left out to dry now.
The bankers and the Farm Bureau are also urging Kay to stay... this is far too organized not to be organized by Kay herself (link).
I think the only argument for Kay staying that makes any sense at all is that we just went through an expensive gubernatorial primary, so it is not time to go through an expensive special election to fill her seat and potentially leave it vulnerable to a folksy populist rural Democrat like John Sharp...
Otherwise every argument for staying is thin. She is not a good legislator. She is ineffective at articulating an argument against Obama's agenda. Kay votes with Democrats far too often. Fighting health care was a bust... she even voted the wrong way on a procedural vote related to health care... I am just kind of done with Kay I guess which is a big turn around from one year ago when I was up in the air about Rick or Kay.
Monday, March 22, 2010
She hasn't said, and so far today, aides aren't responding to email and phone messages seeking clarification.
Is she standing by her oft-stated stance that she will resign when the health care fight ends, or has she changed her mind? Does she contend that the fight isn't over and, if so, what would mark the end of the fight if not a presidential bill-signing ceremony?
Hutchison said more than a year ago that she intended to resign in the course of running for governor. In July she said that resignation would come by December 2009. In October, she told WBAP's Mark Davis Show that, with health care legislation still pending, she wasn't ready to set a date. "I want to stay and fight with every bone in my body against a government takeover of health care," she said.
Four days before the primary, she was back on WBAP, backing away from the win or lose part, at least as a short term step, but reaffirming that "I am going to leave the Senate. It's the best thing for Texas for me to leave the Senate, sometime this year before the November elections....I'm going to stay and fight health care. I promised that, so that's my first commitment, and I will do that."
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Traveling with Kay Bailey Hutchison in the final days of the primary campaign, I knew one thing was clear: Hutchison expected to lose the primary but was hoping for a sufficient showing against Rick Perry to somehow win the runoff. Aboard her campaign bus, Hutchison expressed frustration at the trajectory of her campaign (basically, down) and her failure to get the endorsement of former President George W. Bush (he stayed publicly neutral).
She indicated that Bush 43 was in her corner, as evidenced by the Bushies supporting her (Karen Hughes, Karl Rove, Margaret Spellings, Barbara and George Bush 41) "That was the signal," she said. Hutchison stood with Bush 43 in October 2009 to her political peril. Bush lobbied his fellow Texan to vote for the Wall Street bailout, she did -- and Perry pounded her for it. Didn't Bush owe her something, a reporter asked? "I know, I know," Hutchison said, shaking her head. She never got the endorsement
As further evidence the Hutchison camp had a sense their campaign was doomed, the Austin American-Statesman's Politifact quotes Hutchison campaign chairman Jim Francis of Dallas saying the senator was ready to abandoned the race even if she made the runoff. Francis said Hutchison had decided to concede if she trailed Perry by 20 percentage points or so -- and she did.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
- Rick rejects unemployment insurance money, Kay criticizes him for it.
- In December Kay votes with Democrats to end the Republican filibuster of the government take over of health care.
- Kay's peeps caught inserting hidden malicious keywords about Rick on her new web site standbykay.com... a web site that never saw the light of day because it was banned by google, yahoo, and other search engines for the unethical practice.
- Rick gets #1 billing on Drudge for HCR50.
- Rick gets #1 billing on Drudge for secession comments.
- Medina bombs out with her September 11th Truther comments on Glenn Beck.
- Kay misses vote after vote including some important votes that Republicans care about... ACORN for example.
- Kay dithers and flip flops on whether to resign, then doesn't resign showing she may not be serious about her race.
- Rick raises 1.38 million dollars in a one day money cannon.
- Rick raises almost as much in 8 days in June as Kay raises in the entire first six months of 2009.
- Kay draws a couple dozen peeps for her official campaign kick off tour in "La Markee."
- Kay is hounded by Rick's YCT allies and others on her campaign kick off tour causing her to be more secretive about her events which probably contributes to 12 peeps showing up at some of her events.
- Cameron Willingham dominates news, distracting Rick's campaign and preventing Rick from pulling away earlier.
- Palin Stumps for Rick in Houston in early 2010.
- Palin endorses Rick in a letter to Republicans in early 2009.
- Kay fumbles the abortion issue in two separate debates... videos come out of Kay fumbling the abortion issue in old debates. Why couldn't she figure out how to answer that question?
- Polls show Medina within striking distance of Kay for second place.
- Dick Cheney does event for Kay, however underwhelming the event looks on television.
- Rick gets nearly every endorsement from every Texas group out there including the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Medical Association, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, the National Rifle Association and Texas State Rifle Association, every pro-life group, two-thirds of the state's SREC and most of the former state chairmen, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Minutemen, the Realtors, and about 50 Austin groups you have never heard of.
- Kay gets the Farm Bureau endorsement.
- George H. W. Bush endorses Kay.
- Ron Paul writes a letter for Debra Medina coming just shy of endorsing her but hinting at his support for her.
- Where were all of the state reps and state senators Kay was going to roll out after session ended? Their conspicuous absence was a pretty big deal.
- Rick and his peeps dominate social networking... until Medina comes along... but Rick makes it part of his day to day life with the pictures of puppies and his work outs and things... his text messages are better than Kay's... he ends up with far more Facebook fans, twitter followers.
- Kay's peeps work hard and overtly to get Medina into the first debate, thinking it will hurt Rick.
- Medina does well in the first debate, doesn't look crazy. Earns ticket to second debate. Does well. Siphons off votes from Kay more than Rick.
- Rick does zero paid phones or glossy mail pieces... Kay does a blitz of both costing probably into the millions right at the end when television would have been more effective.
- Rick sues the EPA with Greg Abbott and Todd Staples.
- Rick wins basically every county and every demographic... Rick gets far more votes than Bill White in Houston.
- Rick or Kay video from the Texas Republican Women event made by the Austin American Statesman's Ken Herman shows Rick dominating what should be Kay's peeps.
- Rick becomes a tea party favorite on April 15 and July 4 separate from the secession thing.
- Kay votes for the bailout a day after saying she wouldn't give a blank check for 700 billion dollars to anyone even Ronald Reagan.
- Mark Sanford loses it, effectively making Rick lose one of his governor allies with whom he often shared op eds and policy initiatives.
- Rick makes Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity honorary Texans and both... and a lot of other major talk radio guys... quasi endorse him or all out endorse him and talk him up.
- Rick gets major bloggers and new media peeps like Andrew Breitbart, Erick Erickson, Glenn Reynolds and other smaller bloggers either on his team or to at least say nice things every now and then about him and not as nice things about Kay.
- Kay hires a Washington Dream Team and pays them Washington wages while Rick hires more scrappy Texans and pays them Texas wages.
- Kay gets every single newspaper endorsement and actually uses her news endorsements in her television ads... Rick decides to specifically reject the endorsements and not even sit for the editorial board meetings.
- Rick does some kind of secret hidden Hispanic out reach clearly that we all missed... more than just having a Spanish language version of his web site... he had to have done something to dominate Kay and Medina so much in South Texas areas.
- Kay wears a jacket vest thing in a barn in one of her final television ads. Rick wears a Carhartt jacket in his final commercial. He looks more genuine.
- WashingtonKay.com 100 times better than slickrickperry.com in almost every way. Better videos. Better, more readable information... even the web site name itself helps to define Kay as non Texan while slickrickperry.com just sounds like a personal attack. Kay's anti Rick site has good graphics and features but Rick's anti Kay site has better information.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?
"Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the g- damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"
-Tom Smykowski from the movie Office Space.
“The difference is in our record and how we treat people,” she said in a press availability that clocked just over three minutes. “I’m a conservative and I help people and I work with people and I don’t posture against Washington at the same time I’m taking their money.”
Pressed, she again cited her “good record of working with people.”
Monday, March 1, 2010
"When it comes to border security, Rick Perry's a Minuteman in the campaign but then takes a minute to forget what he said when the election is over," said Hutchison spokesman Joe Pounder.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner said Hutchison was delusional.
"Better nominee for what?" he said. "Governor Perry is focused on issues important to Texans, while Hutchison has been in Washington working on earmarks, bailouts, out-of-control spending in addition to being pro-choice."
A poll conducted by The Daily Cougar last week revealed that 85.99 percent of UH students likely voting in the Democratic primary favor White to be his party’s nominee in the Nov. 2 general election. Meanwhile, 52.78 percent of likely Republican student voters support Perry.
White’s opponent, local businessman Farouk Shami, garnered the endorsement of 12.56 percent of UH Democrats, while 1.45 percent indicated they were undecided between the two.
Among Republicans, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison earned the support of 36.11 percent of those polled. Tea Party activist Debra Medina received the backing of 8.33 percent. About 2.8 percent of Republicans said they are undecided, but will likely vote in that primary.