June 30, 2009

2010 : Watson and Reality

Paul Burka has a piece up about Sen. Watson's chances in the '10 gubernatorial race. Honestly, it's not a bad read but it's a conventional analysis about an election cycle that's going to be strange in many ways, in state that is anything but conventional, especially right now. Where Burka and I differ on this is that while I think Sen. Watson can easily slide through the primary, I do not think he has the talent to win statewide at the top of the ticket. His best shot is Lt. Gov, but it remains to be seen whether or not his ego can handle not being at the top (insert bad relationship joke here).

Oh, and every politico in and around Austin who thinks Kirk is the golden boy for '10 needs to rethink things a bit. Seriously, they're offbase and don't know the state (outside of Austin) or the mood of it right now. Sorry to rain doodoo on the parade, but reality is reality... and if you think Kirk will sell well in Smith or Gregg Counties, think again. Kirk's only shot is predicated on 39% winning the R primary (not at all a given) AND managing to work the campaign well. Therin lies the problem... his 02 run was pathetic, even worse than the 2006 Van Os run with that retarded 254 county strategy. Even if that's fixed, he's a drag at the top given some of his 'reasonable, but hard to defend' votes in the Senate. Down ballot, there's less pressure and an easier sell for a respected Senate insider that can actually be an amazing Lt. Governor.

Texans are angry. Like a nest of hornets that's been disturbed, the people of this state are looking for someone to blame for the shitty roads, the shitty schools, their economy which is not so great everywhere BUT Austin and their horrendously inflated property taxes driven up by the fact that businesses pay little in taxes. Let's not even mention they have to pay for the most expensive insurance and some of the most expensive electricity in the country.The state, in short, ain't in especially great shape as anyone who's driven on 35 between Austin and Dallas already knows. And the blame is being assigned to 39% and the worthless R's in the Lege. 15 years of Republicans have worked hard to turn Texas into Guatemala.

39% is, of course, trying to make it about 'hating Texas'. What his brill strategists don't seem to get is that Texans already think their guy is a piece of shit. His 39% of the vote in 06 wasn't, you know, an accident. All that's needed is a nasty, drag you through the mud and junk punch you on the way down, fighter to remind them all who's been in charge while the state's been going to hell. Sen. Watson ain't that guy.

They're pissed as hell because they're proud of where they live and what they've accomplished in spite of 39% and the Republicans. They're mad because they see the state circling the drain while 39% gives taxpayer money to big banks, asking nothing in return and who then turn around and screw Texas homeowners with their toxic subprime loans.

Texans are looking for a warrior, someone who can throw a punch into 39% glass jaw, then sit down and have a beer with them but at all times know that he's the kind of guy who doesn't let anything slide. I don't think that guy is Sen. Watson. I think it's Ronnie Earle.

Burka says the 'burbs will be the big battlefield because of toll roads and schools. They're a bigger deal this cycle for D's and easier to pick up in but the real opportunity is East Texas. And this year, with all the TTC 69 bullshit and the R primary, Democrats have the first real shot they've had since the 80's at rebuilding a Democratic base in East Texas.

Now, there are a number of constituencies hoping and praying that Sen. Watson runs statewide. I'm one of them, but where we break is for the office. TTLA and others are rumored to be pushing for Governor and I'd urge them to reconsider. I'd also urge Senator Watson to be realistic about what he really wants and to really think about where he can do the most good.

Posted by mcblogger at June 30, 2009 10:24 AM

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