Getting it right in the title: this post really has absolutely nothing to do with Rick Perry running for president

The other day Jason Embry reported:Recapping a report that Republican National Committeeman Bill Crocker made to state party leaders, Munisteri wrote, "Bill also gave a report at my request, on his efforts to preserve Texas as a more important player in the upcoming presidential contest of 2012. Bill already eloquently presented a proposal to the RNC to allow Texas more flexibility in holding its presidential primary, but we narrowly lost at the last RNC meeting. Consequently, I've asked Bill to head an informal committee to look at Texas' options at becoming a bigger player in 2012, including the feasibility and consequences of moving up the Texas primary and/or holding a straw poll."

This led Paul Burka to write a post headlined: This post has absolutely nothing to do with Rick Perry running for president

I really thought that Perry would wait until after the general election to reveal his presidential ambitions, but here they are, out in the open. Perry always has a plan, always knows what his next step is going to be, and this looks like step one of the coming presidential campaign.

What sayeth wikipedia?

Confirmation bias is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true. As a result, people gather evidence and recall information from memory selectively, and interpret it in a biased way. The biases appear in particular for emotionally significant issues and for established beliefs.

It doesn't seem very likely that Munisteri is acting at the behest of the Perry campaign or to win the governor's approval.

In evaluating such a claim, it's useful to think about the point of view of the person involved. About six months ago, Steve Munisteri got himself elected Republican state chair pretty much on his own. Perry didn't handpick him to be the chair of the state party, as is often the case in other states. He got elected by putting together his own coalition; in other words, he has his own power base and doesn't owe Perry anything. Perry, like his predecessor, has largely stayed out of the inner workings of the state party. So as long as Munisteri doesn't get the governor really angry, it's unlikely that Perry will cause trouble to any potential Munisteri re-election bid.

From Perry's perspective, it'd be awfully odd for him or his campaign not to keep their eyes focused on winning in November. They're not really known for leaving stones unturned and being undisciplined when it comes to campaigning. Furthermore, it makes no sense for them to do it now and not later when there is no reason to rush that I am aware of.

In fact, there is an alternative explanation that makes much more sense: Munisteri was doing what party chairs always do. They try to get their states to be more influential in the process. The party activists most important to Munisteri's re-election would like to see Texas have more influence in the presidential nomination process. Most of them have been wanting that for decades.

Finally, Munisteri's own bio makes particular note of the fact that part of the start of his involvement in politics was one of Texas' last important presidential primaries. You don't think that makes him want Texas to be involved in the process again?

Maybe Rick Perry really is running for president. I've written many times that I doubt it, including recently. But when Munisteri does what party chairs normally do, for the stated reasons that they normally do them -- that is not confirmation nor rejection of the theory.

Posted by Evan @ 10/13/10 11:45 PM

 
 

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