December 13, 2008

Who's Afraid Of KBH?

The answer seems to be pretty much everyone these days. Working off the premise that Kay Bailey Hutchison will resign her Senate seat to challenge Governor For Life Rick Perry in the 2010 Republican Primary, would-be senators have been lining up like WalMart shoppers to replace her. Numbered among that host are two prominent Democrats formerly mentioned as possible gubernatorial prospects, former Comptroller John Sharp and Bill White, Mayor of Houston.

Assuming that KBH actually does resign (and remember that we've been through her "running for governor" thing before in 2006) the seat will be filled in a special election. No parties, no primaries, just a ballot with a dozen or more candidates. Anyone with money and name recognition would have a chance to make it at least as far as the almost-inevitable runoff.

Of course, this brings up the question of who the Texas Democrats will run for governor, a race where our prospects for winning don't look so good at the moment. Two years ago, Chris Bell remarked that even a corpse running on the Democratic ticket would poll at least 31 percent; of course, when the votes were counted the New Mainstream maven received just a shade less than thirty. (In 1998, Gary Mauro's doomed campaign against George W Bush actually did reach 31.)

What to do, what to do? In the absence of a serious effort by a credible Texas Democrat to take on (presumably) KBH for the governorship, what is our true strategy? The bad news is that we cannot actually run a corpse. (I was hoping for Sam Houston. No, not the 2008 judicial candidate, I'm talking Hero of San Jacinto. After all, he actually had been governor and senator as well as general and President of the Republic. They just don't make resumes like that anymore) Do we prevail on another party loyalist like Mauro to take a bullet for the team?

No, I think our solution is to draft a challenger who already has experience running (and losing) to Hutchison, perennial candidate Gene Kelly. In the 2002 senate race he received 32.34% of the vote against KBH (just a few points less than Radnofsky managed six years later.) To the extent that he refuses all campaign contributions we can consider him self-financed and by doing no campaigning and shying away from the media the hard-working TDP staff can focus on winning Democratic control of the Texas House.

Gene Kelly 2010! Why the hell not?

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at December 13, 2008 09:00 AM

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Smashing idea! If elected, the legislature can leave bills awaiting his signature in his potted plant on his porch. When he inevitably fails to either sign or veto them, they'll become law under what will become known as the "potted plant veto".

Posted by: dembones [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 13, 2008 11:37 AM

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