Patterico's Pontifications


It’s Not Easy Being Kay

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 12:49 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is running in a tough primary fight with incumbent Rick Perry for Governor of Texas. Voting is March 2, Texas Independence Day, and the most recent poll shows Perry leads Hutchison 48%-27% with Debra Medina at 17%. There will be a run-off of the top 2 candidates if no candidate gets 50% of the vote.

Hutchison has been interested in running for Governor for some time. She was neck-and-neck with Perry in 2003 polls and led by as much as 25 points early last year, but what a difference a year makes. The conservative backlash from Obama’s first year hasn’t helped the moderate-by-Texas-standards Hutchison as she’s dealt with unpopular issues like the Stimulus and bailouts.

Hutchison’s current Senate term ends in 2012 and Perry even capitalized on Hutchison’s indecision regarding when she would announce her retirement from the Senate and how much a special election would cost. Most expected her to resign last Fall but the Senate’s importance in the health care debate altered that plan. (She ended up not resigning so she could serve out her Senate term if she loses the gubernatorial primary. However, she recently said she plans to move on to a new career after the primary, win or lose.)

This probably doesn’t interest most people outside of Texas and there’s no reason it should, but now even Washington is treating Kay like the Rodney Dangerfield of politics. The House Press Gallery website has a “Casualty List” of retiring and deceased House and Senate members [at the link, click Casualty List in the left sidebar]. The Senate side includes this entry:

Hutchinson (R), TX

She’s been in Washington since 1993 and they can’t even spell her name.


18 Responses to “It’s Not Easy Being Kay”

  1. maybe if she’d stood for something all this time, instead of being yet another squishy RINO sort?

    give me Kay Parker any day….. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. they can’t even spell her name.

    That may have nothing to do with respect. Remember, this is Washington

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  3. It’s also interesting how they call it the “Casualty List” — as if any time an incumbent has to leave Washington it makes them a “casualty.” It suggests a battleground us-against-them mentality but in this case the elected officials of both parties are “us” and the American public is “them.”

    DRJ (daa62a)

  4. I voted for Perry this past Thursday during absentee balloting. Hope he gets at least 50% on Tuesday, because I’d really rather not see a potentially bruising run-off between the two.

    Mike LaRoche (349322)

  5. Mike, Perry would be a second choice for me… a really distant second choice. Hutchison… NO WAY! Which leaves only Medina whom I have endorsed. Perry has just spent too much and the cost of his “rental property” is just too damn high for Texas right now. I have no problem with the Governor having to live in a rental property while the Mansion is fixed up, but 10 grand a month? That is not saving money is it?

    GM Roper (6afe02)

  6. Do they call her late for dinner too?

    AD - RtR/OS! (13c1a1)

  7. GMRoper, if you are a Medinaite, you must not be reading much news. Medina is a trufer and a birther. As are many of her staff and followers. Also, there is was recently an article how Medina used $50K of taxpayer money through the SBA because she could not get the money from a bank to finance her company. For someone who is so against big government, she didn’t have any problem using big government to her advantage. Medina has given interviews lately and her response on ad valorum taxes, illegal immigration and other things were less that pathetic. The woman is clueless and obviously doen’t realize that Texas is part of a union per agreement.

    Also, Medina likes to pretent she has the entire Tea Party movement with her. But I can promise you, the Austin Tea Party Patriots are not behind her and have not endorsed any candidate. So she claims backing she doesn’t have.

    Hutchison tried to use the tactic that Perry has been in office too long, yet she has held her Senate seat longer, even after promising she would only service two terms, no longer. And first she promised to step down in Sept., no, Oct., then Nov. but then said she would leave after the primaries only to say the other day she would have at least 8 months (Nov. 2010) to fininsh her work in the Senate.

    Kay claims she is staying in the Senate to fight the health care insurance takeover, yet she missed an important vote the other day on Stimulus Two, or better known as the Jobs Bill. If she is not going to do her job, all the while being paid, she needs to step down now and let Perry appoint someone else. But you see, that is the whole problem; KBH doesn’t want to allow Perry to appoint anyone.

    There is a lot about Rick Perry most people don’t know: like how he and his wife personally took care of Marcus Luttrell when Luttrell lost his fellow SEALs and returned back to Texas, how they have taken care of other wounded Texas military, how Perry calls each family of a fallen Texas soldier personally and speaks with them as long as it takes, while KBH sends letters, a year later. And while you many not think that counts for much, I damn sure do.

    KBH is Citizen’s Against Government Waste’s 2nd worst porker, yet she brags how she has “brought money back to Texas” while she voted for all the bailouts. Medina can’t even answer questions about being a 9-11 truther with a simple “No, I don’t believe that” and seems to think she can order the federal government to do what ever she wants them to do. But then, Medina was tutored in the Ron Paul School of Government, so she is just Ron Paul in a skirt.

    Do I like everything Perry does? No. Do I like what KBH does? Hell no. And Medina? Arrrrghhhhh. Texas would become the laughing stock of the nation.

    retire05 (1e885c)

  8. Hutchison is awful. Perry didn’t decide where to live after the mansion burned, the legislature in conjunction with his protective detail did.

    Medina is a 9/11 truther, a birther, and a RINO.

    Nalgene Distributor (97b6a6)

  9. Hey, Mike L – good to see you again!

    Dmac (799abd)

  10. Texans don’t like RINOs

    Neither does Florida.

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  11. Hutchison has come to represent the worst sort of pol – the professional, entitled, pol. She has a perfectly good Senate seat and no real prospect of losing it. Yet she decides that isn’t good enough. So, she picks a fight with a very successful Governor who has managed her state pretty darn well, and who is in little danger of losing to a Dimmicrat.

    Screw her.

    Ed from SFV (f6a87d)

  12. #5 GM:

    Ten grand a month might be excessive, but I am supporting Perry primarily for the reasons that retire05 mentioned. While I don’t agree with Perry all of the time, I believe he has done a good job during his ten years as governor.

    Mike LaRoche (349322)

  13. #9 Dmac:

    Likewise, Dmac! How are things in the Windy City?

    Mike LaRoche (349322)

  14. Hutchison’s credentials as a Republican go back a long way — much, much longer than Perry’s. Perry was, after all, the Texas manager for Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign. (You won’t hear Perry claim to be a “Reagan Republican,” because he absolutely wasn’t one.) It’s absolutely fair to point out that Sen. Hutchison’s been in D.C. a long time, and to point out that she has often erred on the side of local pork over principled resistance to government spending, and to call her a “Highland Park Republican” or a “George H.W. Bush-type Republican.” It’s also likely that she’s been slow to grasp the lessons currently being taught by the Tea Partiers, and she’s very much swimming upstream if she thinks Texans are looking to her Washington experience as a guide for how Austin ought to be run.

    But a “RINO” — a Republican in name only? Her voting record can’t be made into that, and compared to the Maine sisters or many, many other northern GOP legislators, she’s been a very reliable vote for most conservative and/or GOP positions. The differences between her votes and those of fellow Republican senator John Cornyn, for example, have been minimal and rarely of any particular consequence.

    If you can’t conceive of a GOP tent that’s big enough for Kay Bailey Hutchison, in other words, you’re probably letting the perfect become not just the enemy, but the executioner, of the good. I’ve been glad to have her as one of my U.S. senators, and I have no regrets over any of my several votes for her, and (depending on the then-existing alternatives) I can easily imagine myself voting to keep her in office.

    I’m honestly baffled by her long-standing desire to be governor of Texas instead of its senior senator and, indeed, one of the most potentially powerful legislators on the national scene and certainly among the most senior women legislators of either party.

    It’s unfortunate that primary campaigns can be as nasty, and damaging, as general election campaigns. The tendency of a political partisan — and I’m certainly one of those — is to pick his favorite candidate, and then try to annihilate all rivals. Well, that’s just not called for here, at least in my opinion.

    Regarding Ms. Medina, it’s perhaps going a step too far on the present record to call her a well-documented Truther or Birther. It’s not debatable, however, that she’s encouraged those groups to believe that her sympathies are with them. It’s not debatable that she’s been a dedicated Ron Paul supporter and campaigner. When I call Ron Paul a fruitcake, it’s not without a certain amount of warmth and respect, which I can afford, I think, so long as he’s not much more than a single Congressman with comparatively few highly motivated supporters. But these associations certainly do give me great pause in considering Ms. Medina’s fitness to become the Chief Executive of the State of Texas. On fiscal matters, she talks a good game, but the farther she gets from that, the less coherent and persuasive her positions become (something else she has in common with Dr. Paul). As best I can tell, she’s never actually run anything, or had any greater responsibility than, the Wharton County GOP. Were we not in the throes of a mostly legitimate and very powerful anti-incumbency movement, Ms. Medina’s objective qualifications, or rather the conspicuous vacuum where her objective qualifications ought to be, will confirm my vote against her in the primary.

    I will be disappointed if Ms. Medina forces a run-off because its only beneficiary will be Democratic candidate Bill White. Friends and neighbors, if you don’t think White is capable of running an adroit campaign as a “different kind of Democrat,” a Blue Dog 2.0, and someone reasonably eager to take Barack Obama to the woodshed to help him learn some more common sense, then you’re underestimating Bill White. I know the guy, and I like and respect him, and I think he was a good mayor for Houston, but I’m nonetheless terrified at the prospect of how this former Clinton Cabinet undersecretary and life-long progressive Democrat would govern in a state-wide or national office. Voting for Medina, then, can’t be rationalized as a pro-Tea Party-ish protest vote. She can’t win, but by forcing a run-off she — and her small band of enthusiastic but, alas, naive supporters — can and will unintentionally help Obama and the national Democratic Party.

    Beldar (494c8f)

  15. Lost a clause. Instead of this:

    Were we not in the throes of a mostly legitimate and very powerful anti-incumbency movement, Ms. Medina’s objective qualifications, or rather the conspicuous vacuum where her objective qualifications ought to be, will confirm my vote against her in the primary.

    I meant this:

    Were we not in the throes of a mostly legitimate and very powerful anti-incumbency movement, Ms. Medina’s objective qualifications, or rather the conspicuous vacuum where her objective qualifications ought to be, would make her a laughing-stock. Her lack of qualifications therefore will confirm my vote against her in the primary.

    Beldar (494c8f)

  16. Beldar, I respect your views, and love your blog. But to think that Medina causing a run off will be beneficial to White, well, to use a Texan euphemism, is just flat out wrong. Once a Republican candidate is chosen, those who have stayed out of the election fray until now will emerge.

    Texans don’t want White. And the missteps of the Obama administration, and the dire straits of the rest of the nation compared to Texas, will only convince more Texans that we cannot allow this state to turn blue. We may be treading, but our heads are still above water.

    I have a good friend who works for the federal Department of Agriculture. She, and her husband, have always been Texas Democrats. Today, she told me that she is so damn disgusted with our federal government that she will never vote for another Democrat. Her son, currently in Afghanistan, calls her weekly to tell her how the ROE have changed under Obama and how he wished the ROE would have remained as they were under Bush. I was shocked. I never thought I would hear her say those things.

    So are you trying to tell me that all those who follow Medina, if she loses, are going to switch just to vote for White? Somehow, I dont’ think that is the case. I think they will just sit out the election. And now, that won’t help Perry, but don’t think his peeps haven’t thought about that already.

    retire05 (1e885c)

  17. retire05,

    I think you underestimate White’s standing among Houston voters. While they may not vote overwhelmingly for him, they like him and many will vote for him … as will traditional liberals in the Valley, El Paso, East Texas, and Austin. That’s a lot of people.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  18. As I’ve said before, I don’t understand Hutchison’s run for governor, for many of the reasons Beldar explained.

    I agree with DRJ. The general election will be no cake-walk for Perry, but he’ll probably win.

    Nonetheless, I remember years ago when I lived for a very short time in Oregon. I saw many bumper stickers that said: “Don’t Californicate Oregon.”

    Oregon is now North California.

    The Californification of Texas is inevitable and is taking place rapidly. The GOP dominance in the state will disappear as quickly as it arose.

    Liberalism is a strong and steady infestation, much like termites. Once it has exhausted the nourishment of one strong and steady house, it seeks the next. Its decimation stretches from D.C. to Detroit, from Cleveland to Atlanta, from San Francisco to Austin.

    I don’t think the folk wearing the “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirts really know what they’re bargaining for.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

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