Back in action
I was pretty busy this weekend, but I guess I've also just been a little lazy about updating the blog.
Perry has not had a good week since I updated. The guv has been getting a good deal of flak for his comment that:
Asked by a reporter what he would tell gay and lesbian veterans returning from Iraq who want to wed, Mr. Perry said, "If there is some other state that has a more lenient view than Texas, then maybe that's a better place for them to live."There have been quite a few editorials around the state criticizing Perry for both that comment and for holding his bill signing in the gym of a church in Fort Worth. Quite a few of the national papers have picked up the story as well, generally with a critical tone and lots of comments from folks like Barry Lynn from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
Perry's response to the criticism of the location:
"We could have signed it in a lot of different locations," Perry said on Fox News. "We could have signed it in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and those who are against people of faith being involved in the electoral process would still have been very much against this bill."
Fortunately for Perry, I'm guessing that the New York Times doesn't have much credibility with most Texas GOP primary voters.
The same Wayne Slater DMN article linked above also has Dave Carney, Perry's political guy, quoted:
"[The homosexual marriage ban] will be an important battle," he said, and a measure of who will vote in the March GOP primary.Is KBH on the record yet as to how she'll vote in the homosexual marriages ban? If so, I missed it.
"People who turn out Nov. 8 to support of the marriage amendment will clearly be potential Perry supporters," he said, "and it will be incumbent on our campaign to go out, talk to them and turn them out to vote in March."
The rest of Slater's article (which is worth a read) basically details how Perry is planning a similar George W. Bush - Karl Rove 2004 strategy: high turnout among the conservative base. Like BushCheney in 2004, Perry is not running towards the center.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News op-ed board likes Kay Bailey Hutchison's flirtation with running:
Mrs. Hutchison clearly understands the nuances of the game. Monday's thrust at Mr. Perry was followed by Tuesday's ultra-coy parley with Washington reporters, who pressed her to declare her intentions.
"I am not going to answer a question that would lead to a conclusion," she said primly. "I'll be the Alan Greenspan of today's press op. I will talk a lot, but if you think you've understood anything I've said, you're misunderstanding."
Of course, even Peter Jackson can't keep an audience on the hook forever. Milk the suspense too long, and they're likely to get testy.
As for the rest of us, we can sit back and enjoy the show. Face it, in a virtual one-wing-of-one-party state, we don't get many opportunities to savor this type of high-level political gamesmanship. Only the most veteran politicos can remember the last time the dominant party produced two (or more) well-matched gubernatorial contenders, playing for keeps. Popcorn, anyone?
School finance: Jay Root writes in the FWST that it still boils down to Craddick. He's got an interesting article on Craddick's reputation as a take-it-or-leave-it negotiator. Dewhurst, so the narrative goes, is tired of being portrayed as the loser in negotiations between the two.
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