Skip navigation.
The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Rick Perry's Jabs At Washington Are Really About Hutchison

The Houston Chronicle provides an interesting analysis of why Governor Rick Perry has been loudly complaining about the federal government: he's trying to preemptively weaken any gubernatorial run by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Many political observers believe Perry's harsh rhetoric is designed to position the governor in his bid for an unprecedented, third four-year term in 2010. The target is his likely challenger in the Republican primary, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is more popular than Perry in some polls.

Hutchison in late September told her Senate colleagues that she wouldn't seek re-election to a leadership post and is planning to form an exploratory committee for the governor's race.

"I guess it's a pretty good shot to take on the federal government if you're running against someone who is an agent of the federal government," said Greg Thielemann, director of the Center for the Study of Texas Politics at the University of Texas at Dallas.

"I think his criticisms are his attempt to raise his profile, and if it slows down Sen. Hutchison, that's a good thing," said Bill Miller, an Austin political consultant.

In recent months, Perry's attacks have taken an increasingly sharper tone. It's lucky for Perry that he gets to attack Sen. Hutchison while seemingly doing nothing more than acting like a Republican and criticizing Washington.

It's Going To Be Entertaining

I love this exchange between their respective press secretaries/spokesmen:

Perry's press secretary, Mark Miner, referred to Hutchison as "Kay Bailout" in an Oct. 25 story about a poll done for the Houston Chronicle that showed Harris County voters favored Hutchison over Perry 46 percent to 30 percent. (The same poll showed Houston Mayor Bill White beating both Hutchison and Perry.)

Marc Short, a spokesman for Hutchison, said Perry flip-flopped on the bailout bill.

"Being for the bill before being against the bill is how you get 39 percent of the vote after six years in office," Short said, referring to Perry's share of the vote in 2006 when a Democrat and two independent candidates were on the ballot.

They're not even officially running yet!

Syndicate content