26 February 2011
Tom Leppert announces for Senate
Tom Leppert officially announced for the Senate with this video:
Maybe a touch long, but the most effective announcement so far.
hat tip to Big Jolly, who I should link to more often.
Related: The Republican Senate candidates, in their own words.
22 February 2011
What I Want in a Senator
March update: I'm supporting Ted Cruz for Senate.
I've been thinking about what I want in our next US Senator. Here's the criteria I came up with.
1. Ability to lead the charge. Should be an effective spokesman on national issues. All candidates running on the Republican side are likely to be a reliable GOP vote, as they should be for a state that is currently so solidly Republican. So their ability to frame the national debate and make the case on TV is a key feature.
2. Ability to get things done for Texas. I want someone who can hold the seat for at least 4 terms. Cornyn appears likely to do this, we should elect someone else who can and will do this.
3. Ability to hold the seat. This is somewhat of a corollary to the previous point. One can't build tenure if a Democrat beats him/her and resets Texas seniority to zero. Keeping the seat in Republican hands is crucial to building tenure for Texas as well as to maintaining Texas' independent, pioneer spirit.
Related: Texas Republican Senate candidates in their own words.
21 February 2011
Partisanship and turnout by sport
Pretty sure that'll get cut off, and I frankly don't care enough to tinker with the site template so that it doesn't get cut off (hello, lack of social networking tools!), so click the link below.
This is a bit old, but I saw it again recently. And heck, imageblogging is easy.
20 February 2011
instant messenger conversation
Friend: Why don't you post more on Rick Perry vs World?
Me: Why don't you click the ads more?
18 February 2011
Obama's budget graphic
This will probably get cutoff, so click the link:
That's Obama's budget. Wow.
10 February 2011
Lamar! vs Big Bad John
Politico writes about how #2 Senate Republican Jon Kyl's decision to retire will likely pit John Cornyn vs Lamar Alexander in the race to succeed him.
Cornyn, now is in his second term running the National Republican Senatorial Committee, does not plan to run the influential Senate campaign group when he is up for reelection in the 2014 election cycle. Many on Capitol Hill believe that Cornyn would run for the No. 2 spot, and potentially be in a strong position to secure it if Republicans take back the majority in the 2012 elections.
But Alexander currently is the No. 3 Republican in Senate leadership, serving as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, which gives him the responsibility of crafting the party’s message. Many GOP senators have praised Alexander's ability to stay on message and push back against the Democratic agenda, something that could help in a leadership race.
One of the most underestimated things by the Texas press is that Cornyn spent his first decade in office doing all the things necessary to win a race like this.
09 February 2011
House Committee assignments today?
Burka prints a rumor that House committees will be announced today, which I've heard too.
The other thing I heard is that Republicans will be happy. We shall see in a few hours.
08 February 2011
Will David Dewhurst really run for Senate?
In the discussion of who will succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison in the US Senate, this might be the most overlooked fact: in November 2012, David Dewhurst will be 67. It will affect whether he runs for the Senate or waits for a shot at 1010 Colorado. And if he runs for the Senate, it'll be an unspoken reason some don't pick h im.
So, Senator or Governor? Put yourself in the Lt Guv's shoes. He's been Lt Guv for almost a decade. He's the leader of the Texas Senate, one of the people who is always making decisions about what becomes law. By contrast, in the US Senate, he'll be one occupant of 100 seats. He won't have a single day of tenure and virtually zero input as to what bills get addressed and what is in those bills. As a former CIA operative, he might be able to carve out a policy niche on the Intelligence Committee, but other than that he won't have much input into legislation until after 75. As he reaches 80 years old, he'll get to decide whether he wants to run for the third term where he'll finally have a shot at a chairmanship. Does he want to spend his 9th decade sitting in committee hearings?
Of course, his age is also an unspoken element among some Texas Republicans. Texas has done a pretty good job of electing senators who accumulated seniority that they used on behalf of Texas. In recent history, we have: Lloyd Bentsen 22 years, John Tower 24 years, Phil Gramm 18 years, Kay Bailey Hutchison 19 years, and now John Cornyn has already accumulated almost a decade himself.
Again, Senator or Governor? In most of the scenarios where Dewhurst runs for Senate and loses, it's very hard to imagine him rebounding back to winning a gubernatorial primary in 2014. Yet, if he waits, he will be the favorite in 2014. If he wins, he'll be the leader of the executive branch, not a mere voice of 100. He'll set the agenda immediately.
Finally, I think Dewhurst is more likely to win a gubernatorial primary than a senatorial primary, though he is the most likely candidate for both. Call it 10-15% more likely for governor. State issues are less polarizing. He won't have to run as far to the right. Furthermore, he knows state issues much better now than he knows federal issues.
So far we all think he's going to run, but for all these reasons, I think the smarter play is for Dewhurst not to run for Senate.
RGA Executive Director Phil Cox profile
Roll Call profiles Phil Cox, Rick Perry's pick to lead the Republican Governor's Association.
Watch the State of the State
At 11am, Governor Perry is giving the State of the State address. You can watch it here.
05 February 2011
US Senate candidates in their own words
As part of deciding who to support in the race for senate seat held by KBH, I've spent a fair amount of time watching youtube videos of the candidates. (Update, as per March: I am supporting Ted Cruz) In alphabetical order:
Elizabeth Ames Jones
Roger Williams -- I had a hard time finding videos for Roger Williams, because there are quite a few folks with the name Roger Williams on YouTube
Make sure to skip ahead to the 6:20 mark, where Roger Williams begins to speak.
04 February 2011
Matt Dowd on Tea Party and Bachmann
I thought Matt Dowd's recent column on Michelle Bachmann's SOTU response was insightful. Key paragraphs:
As I watched Rep. Michele Bachmann's "nonofficial" response to President Obama's State of the Union address and the flurry of criticism that followed, I was reminded of the recent book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom. The gist is that organizations that are decentralized, fluid, and non-hierarchical, and that operate organically with many tentacles (like a starfish) can have great success at times in history. A starfish can lose one tentacle and grow a new one, and even the severed tentacle can grow an entire new body.
She has begun to label herself as a tea party leader (if not the leader), and last week she gave what she billed as the tea party response to the president's State of the Union. Attractive, well-spoken at times, disciplined, hardworking, and a true believer, Bachmann has nonetheless frequently come across as not ready for prime time or, how shall I say it, bizarre. Her recent showing did nothing to dispel that narrative, and her attempt to become a credible spokeswoman suffered because of it.
More important, though, the tea party took a hit. As the movement begins to operate as a spider organization with a very visible leader (losing its starfish advantages), it risks being directly opposed and damaged. Although Bachmann got tons of publicity, she did the tea party no favors by trying to assume its leadership.
Dowd ends his column by commenting that wins the 2012 Republican nod will probably be the most "starfish" organization, with de-centralized power. I hope he decides to write his next column delineating why he thinks that, because I don't think anyone would call Obama 08 or Bush 04 as de-centralized.
Craig James still talking about running
Graham Hunter on the D mag blog:
ESPN college football analyst Craig James, who's weighing a run for Kay Bailey Hutchison's senate seat, says his role in the firing of Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach won't hurt him politically -- even in the heart of Red Raiders country.
Asked when he'd make a decision about jumping into the Republican senate primary, James said, "I've got to analyze it. I'm thinking about it. I'll announce [my decision] sooner rather than later."
My guess it that James wasn't popular in Lubbock when he caused Mike Leach to be ousted, but that he's even less popular after Tech went 8-5 without Leach. On the other hand, in a multi-way field, being polarizing can work for you.
My guess would be that James -- who serves on TPPF's board -- doesn't announce, but we'll see.
By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Craig James frequently looks like former senator Kyle Janek in pictures? Add that to Chris Fowler sometimes looking Rick Perry-esque.
Ron Paul would be pretty low on my list of likely winners
I go away for a week on an internet-free vacation, and I come back and it appears that Paul Burka has suggested that Ron Paul is the frontrunner for the Senate.
I couldn't disagree with this more. Dr. Paul has a fairly certain ceiling at a certain percent. Also, can he really win a runoff? Not so much. He's not the frontrunner. I'd say his chances of winning the seat are under 10%, regardless of who else enters the race.