Friday, November 20, 2009

The Bill White-a-Palooza

Sidd Finch didn't get this much positive press, and even he was to have signed with the Mets during the current year. Such is the moth-to-the-porchlight attraction of the Texas media to the campaign of do as I say, not as I do Houston Mayor/Senate aspirant Bill White.

The attraction to White I can understand, for Texas Monthly White is viewed as a return to the Caucasian Dixiecrats that rode herd over the State from the time of reconstruction up until the ascension of Dubya. (When, ironically, almost all of the conservative Texas Democrats jumped ship to the Republican Party and cast off the vestiges of populism that made the State work. [See: Perry, Rick for more]) The Chronicle has a long history of standing by her man even when her man's been trying to yank the welcome mat away from charity groups. Outside of InterLeft support, White's next strongest ally has been ChronBlog. Viewed from that angle This and this makes sense. Another ChronBlog angle is to view this as the journalist-education of new politics writer Joe Holley. After all, a ChronBlog political gig has to involve a man-crush on White. Were we given access to their employment contracts I'm sure it'd be in the fine print somewhere.

From all accounts Bill White is a likable guy who enjoys occasionally cursing at the hired help. Something that places him in the wheelhouse of great Southern Democrats such as Lyndon B. Johnson'd say Rahm Emmanuel but he's not really Southern is he?) All Bill White is really lacking is a "Great Society" style legislative package for America. Unfortunately for him, Obama has stolen the LBJ thunder and is currently letting Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid dump a big ol' sack of incompetence all over it.

This poses a small problem for White, who is now going to have to dust off Safe Clear, Houston Hope and the Mobility Response Team, otherwise known as "slackers on scooters" before they got Dolcefinoed into productivity, in his pitch to voters. Then there's the whole Kay Bailey Hutchison factor. Will she or won't she jump-ship eventually and push her stack all-in to a gubernatorial race where she's probably not going to escape the primary? Because, if/when KBH loses to Perry, why would she have any interest in giving up her cushy D.C. office so that someone else can move in and order new drapes?

In short: She won't. Which is why I think she won't be leaving the Senate any time soon and why she might even decide to run for a fourth term in 2012. If recent history is any indication, she'll run, win the race, and then resign 2 months after she's sworn in thus allowing a Rick Perry to appoint whatever Republican recently got shoved out of office by the voters into that seat to fill the unexpired term, or until a 2014 Special depending on the timing.

What none of the news stories has the guts to say is what every Texas Democrat is thinking: "Please, please Mayor White, in the name of all that's progressive and holy (and by holy we mean in the non-exclusive, non-religious, non-judgmental sense) please stop chasing KBH's coattails and throw your hat in the ring where it could do our Party some good. Please run for Governor."

ADDENDUM: "My Pal" that anything like My Buddy?


  1. Yes, please do run for governor, I would dearly love to see you have your arse handed to you after Perry wipes the floor (or maybe HIS arse) with your bald head. He may be Mr 39%, but he'll shellac White.

  2. Yeah, White is a media favorite, for reasons you suggest, but consider the competition. His popularity in Houston, which admittedly may not translate statewide ( probably won't, actually) is not an illusion, and to be reductive in the extreme nobody in Dime Box is gonna get exercised about Safe Clear (nobody in Houston much gets exercised about it any more, either, 'cept in the blogosphere). They may, though, get exercised about his dancing around on illegal immigration (there's a Rove-ian smack-to-the-kisser TV ad waiting for him on that one, although if he runs for governor instead of Senate he can continue dance around on it, to a point). And, while these labels are pretty much meaningless, I think White is viewed by Democrats not as a Dixiecrat, or even as a Tory Democrat, the Dixiecrat's' successor, but as a (white) guy who might have an outside shot of winning a statewide race. Otherwise, they got John Sharp and ... nobody.


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