Who's in charge?

Why is Kay Bailey Hutchison talking about border security right now? I think it's a fairly large strategic blunder.

1. She is not going to win voters whose primary issue is border security. She just won't. If I need to explain this to you, this probably isn't the right blog for you to be reading. While border security may be the deciding issue to some very small percent of GOP primary voters, for most it is not nearly that important. The people really fired up about border security are unlikely

2. It's not who she is, or at least who she is perceived to be. In 3 Senate terms, I really don't recall Hutchison making immigration a defining issue. When Hutchison did talk about immigration, I don't remember her talking about border security. You'd be much more likely to put her in the "comprehensive" camp than the "border security" camp.

3. Perry isn't exactly perceived as being weak on border security. He's done video cameras on the border, he's sent the Texas Rangers, etc etc.

4. It doesn't fit into the message. It's almost cliche to say that we don't really know what Sen. Hutchison's message is. But, I sure don't. Whatever Kay's message is, I don't see how this fits it and it certainly didn't make it into any news reports today. I highly doubt that she's going to make this a central point of the next 2 months, so this doesn't help weave a narrative for her campaign.

So why did she unveil a border security plan today? I have trouble believing that it was part of a long-term plan. Yes, people are just starting to really pay attention to the race, but given the above three factors, you'd have to assume that this was not a long-planned plan.

Frankly, it looks to me like a panicked attempt to "get to the right" of Perry on an issue...any issue. But that's not how Hutchison has been perceived throughout her career. Why change now?

Posted by Evan @ 01/12/10 08:33 PM

 
 

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