29 April 2013
Will Rick Perry run for re-election as governor of Texas in 2014?
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I am on record: I think Perry will run for re-election.
He's got the POTUS bug
After the end of the 2012 presidential run, Perry told staffers on different occasions that "we learned a lot for the next time." It was a pretty firm indication that his plan was to run in 2016. Things change, of course, but immediately after the disastrous 2012 presidential bid, he wasn't planning to fade off into the sunset.
Assume for a minute that he has the presidential bug, and you start to see why it would be necessary to run for governor in 2014. Conventional wisdom has been that you need to run for re-election in order to be seen as a serious candidate. Otherwise you have troubles with fundraising, getting endorsements, and having the press treat you seriously.
The clear and recent exception is Mitt Romney. He quit as Mass governor after one term in 06 to run in 2008 and then again in 2012. But Romney's fundraising was always so strong that it was clear he would be a serious candidate. Just count the networks Romney could tap for easy money: Mormons, Bain consultants, Harvard Law, Harvard MBA, private equity, venture capital, Boston, Olympics, Detroit, etc. On his first day as a presidential candidate early in 2007 he raised a then-astonishing $6.5 million.
It is an open question as to whether Perry could raise the early money (or get the endorsements) for 2016 if he is not residing at 1010 Colorado. Donors are not going to give to a candidate whose last campaign was as disastrous as Perry's 2012 effort. So winning in 2014 -- especially in a tough race -- would re-establish Perry as a winner. Perry 2016 could raise some early money in Texas whether Perry is governor or not. The question is whether there would be the same second wave of fundraising. And Texas donors would have a reason to give perhaps a bit more generously to super PACs.
If he isn't governor, Perry also doesn't get the free media from doing "I'm coming for your jobs" tours in places like Boston and Chicago which might have some media overlap with early primary states. And if the Texas economy keeps booming, then there is someone to share the credit if he doesn't run (on the flip side is the danger that our economy tanks).
Perry thinks he can win in 2014
Assume Perry runs. Who can beat him? Probably only Attorney General Abbott, who might not run. When Perry said publicly that AG Abbott would not run against him, the governor was only repeating publicly what he has said privately. For years Perry folks have said that Abbott wouldn't run against the guv.
Abbott has waited in line for a long time. Does he want to risk it now to run against a friend? Especially if Perry announces right after the session that he is running for re-election? He has the money, but if he uses it now it might be tough to get it in 4 years. It is a risk, and the only example we really have to guide us is 2002 -- where he left the LG race to run for AG. And Abbott could very likely be LG in 2014 if he wants to be.
Perhaps there is a dark horse that would run against Perry if Abbott doesn't. I doubt that keeps Perry up at night though -- and it looks like George P. Bush has taken himself out of the running by saying he is running for a different job.
Perry is just avoiding lameduck status
I just don't see it. If you go back through this dance over the years, he has been pretty candid about his future plans, including the presidential bid. During that time, the conventional wisdom was usually that he was retiring...and it was wrong. I tend to take his statements at face value -- he hasn't absolutely decided whether to run.
Also, if he were not running for re-election, why would Governor Perry call state Rep Lyle Larson in for an hour-long talking-to to warn him against pushing his gubernatorial term limits bill?
Loves being governor, enjoys the campaign trail
All indications are that Rick Perry really loves being governor of Texas. It is not as time-intensive as in other states. Since he is doubledipping on state salaries, he is getting paid pretty well and has no expenses. He also appears to really enjoy the campaign trail. And why wouldn't he? He is good on the trail and until the 2012 bid he enjoyed unrivaled success.
Look, I might be all wrong and Perry really has decided to retire from politics to go make money in the private sector. Maybe he and Abbott have already decided on a schedule for that announcement that maximizes Abbott's chances at victory. But from what I see, I would bet Perry is running for re-election.
28 April 2013
Social media buttons on PvW (!)
This website has long looked like it was stuck in 2005. For a good reason, which is that I have never felt like there a long-term commitment to the ol blog.
Well the site still looks like the mid 2000s, but at least tonight I spent the 30 minutes necessary to wade through the API documentation to stick a couple social media buttons here and there. It still does not look right in IE, but oh well.
24 April 2013
Take Public Integrity Unit away from Travis County DA
BOR cogently argues why the Public Integrity Unit of Texas should not belong to the Travis County DA:
Those calling on Lehmberg to resign need to recognize the severity of handing the Public Integrity Unit and the environmental prosecution division over to a Perry crony whose attitude on everything from pre-trial release to the death penalty is likely to be out of touch with Austin's progressive community values.
Executed properly, the Public Integrity Unit invaluably serves all of Texas by enforcing anti-corruption law. Yet our Public Integrity Unit is subject to the whims of white Austin liberals who dominate the Democratic primary in Travis County.* Their current selection Rosemary Lehmberg has shown herself to be unfit for the office in a variety of ways.
Officials who serve all Texans should be accountable to all Texans, not to "Austin's progressive community values."
* One wonders whether moving the Public Integrity Unit to Travis County would pass Voting Rights Act preclearance in the Obama Justice Department.
09 April 2013
In Texas, we call this "shoring up the base"*
Pro-Obama group Organizing for Action went online Monday with ads targeting nearly a dozen lawmakers on gun control legislation. The ads, running on Facebook and search engines, urge viewers to call their senators and push for action.
According to OFA, the ads target constituents of Republican senators in nine states: Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Saxby Chambliss and John Isakson of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Perhaps the carpetbaggers that Obama sent down to form Battleground Texas have been feeding bad information back to Chicago and DC?
I find it amusing that they are attacking Cruz instead of Cornyn, who is actually up for re-election this cycle.
But more amusingly, they aren't actually running any ads against Cruz yet. This morning, I checked Google, Yahoo, Bing and Facebook from a variety of different accounts and couldn't find a single ad. Not a single one.
* Texas will be blue before it turns anti-gun.
08 April 2013
Obama le falla a la media clase
El presidente Obama llega hoy a Miami para hablar sobre la economía, y le doy la bienvenida y lo exhorto a visitar algunos pequeños negocios del Sur de la Florida. Los creadores de empleos de nuestra comunidad sin duda le dirían –como con frecuencia me dicen por toda la ciudad– lo difícil que es en la economía actual administrar un negocio debido a las normas y las regulaciones que vienen de Washington.
El presidente Obama también debería escuchar las historias de muchos de nuestros vecinos para darse cuenta del efecto que más aumentos de impuestos y alzas de los gastos tendrán en la clase media de nuestra nación. Al escucharlos, entendería que muchos aspectos de políticas como el Obamacare han afectado a muchas familias de clase media en vez de ayudarlas. Descubriría que el creciente papel de nuestro gobierno ha creado incertidumbre al establecer reglas que muchos pequeños negocios no pueden seguir.
Miami es donde aprendí que el sector privado de Estados Unidos –si se le deja operar libremente– es el mayor motor de prosperidad y de movilidad económica que el mundo ha conocido. Lo supe viendo a mis padres trabajar duro en empleos de clase media, que existían porque alguien puso un negocio y tuvo bastante éxito para contratarlos. Fueron estos trabajos y los esfuerzos de mis padres los que me permitieron tener una vida mejor que la de ellos. Si estos negocios hubieran tenido impuestos o regulaciones onerosas, sus dueños quizá no hubieran podido mantener el empleo de mis padres, o habrían reducido sus horas de trabajo. Ambas cosas habrían sido devastadoras para nuestra familia.
Indiscutible que Obama es el peor presidente económico de las últimas décadas...y antes también. Lamentable, evitable, pero él sigue con su obsesión ideológica a aumentar el tamaño y poder del gobierno.