Rick Perry vs World
14 May 2013
O RLY, Stu Rothenberg?
This is certainly conventional wisdom in Washington, DC, and has been for decades. But past results, while not necessarily indicative of future performance, completely belie Rothenberg's claim.
DeMint and others of his ideological stripe continue to believe that the GOP needs to present a more ideological, less compromising candidate, and that essentially means doubling down on the party’s message over the past few years -- the same message that has cost Republicans presidential races and Senate seats.
More ideological/less compromising nominees
Less ideological/more compromising nominees
Res ipsa loquitur. In the past 40 years, it looks like the GOP only won when they did the opposite of what you want them to do, Stu.
29 April 2013
Will Rick Perry run for re-election as governor of Texas in 2014?
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I am on record: I think Perry will run for re-election.
He's got the POTUS bug
After the end of the 2012 presidential run, Perry told staffers on different occasions that "we learned a lot for the next time." It was a pretty firm indication that his plan was to run in 2016. Things change, of course, but immediately after the disastrous 2012 presidential bid, he wasn't planning to fade off into the sunset.
Assume for a minute that he has the presidential bug, and you start to see why it would be necessary to run for governor in 2014. Conventional wisdom has been that you need to run for re-election in order to be seen as a serious candidate. Otherwise you have troubles with fundraising, getting endorsements, and having the press treat you seriously.
The clear and recent exception is Mitt Romney. He quit as Mass governor after one term in 06 to run in 2008 and then again in 2012. But Romney's fundraising was always so strong that it was clear he would be a serious candidate. Just count the networks Romney could tap for easy money: Mormons, Bain consultants, Harvard Law, Harvard MBA, private equity, venture capital, Boston, Olympics, Detroit, etc. On his first day as a presidential candidate early in 2007 he raised a then-astonishing $6.5 million.
It is an open question as to whether Perry could raise the early money (or get the endorsements) for 2016 if he is not residing at 1010 Colorado. Donors are not going to give to a candidate whose last campaign was as disastrous as Perry's 2012 effort. So winning in 2014 -- especially in a tough race -- would re-establish Perry as a winner. Perry 2016 could raise some early money in Texas whether Perry is governor or not. The question is whether there would be the same second wave of fundraising. And Texas donors would have a reason to give perhaps a bit more generously to super PACs.
If he isn't governor, Perry also doesn't get the free media from doing "I'm coming for your jobs" tours in places like Boston and Chicago which might have some media overlap with early primary states. And if the Texas economy keeps booming, then there is someone to share the credit if he doesn't run (on the flip side is the danger that our economy tanks).
Perry thinks he can win in 2014
Assume Perry runs. Who can beat him? Probably only Attorney General Abbott, who might not run. When Perry said publicly that AG Abbott would not run against him, the governor was only repeating publicly what he has said privately. For years Perry folks have said that Abbott wouldn't run against the guv.
Abbott has waited in line for a long time. Does he want to risk it now to run against a friend? Especially if Perry announces right after the session that he is running for re-election? He has the money, but if he uses it now it might be tough to get it in 4 years. It is a risk, and the only example we really have to guide us is 2002 -- where he left the LG race to run for AG. And Abbott could very likely be LG in 2014 if he wants to be.
Perhaps there is a dark horse that would run against Perry if Abbott doesn't. I doubt that keeps Perry up at night though -- and it looks like George P. Bush has taken himself out of the running by saying he is running for a different job.
Perry is just avoiding lameduck status
I just don't see it. If you go back through this dance over the years, he has been pretty candid about his future plans, including the presidential bid. During that time, the conventional wisdom was usually that he was retiring...and it was wrong. I tend to take his statements at face value -- he hasn't absolutely decided whether to run.
Also, if he were not running for re-election, why would Governor Perry call state Rep Lyle Larson in for an hour-long talking-to to warn him against pushing his gubernatorial term limits bill?
Loves being governor, enjoys the campaign trail
All indications are that Rick Perry really loves being governor of Texas. It is not as time-intensive as in other states. Since he is doubledipping on state salaries, he is getting paid pretty well and has no expenses. He also appears to really enjoy the campaign trail. And why wouldn't he? He is good on the trail and until the 2012 bid he enjoyed unrivaled success.
Look, I might be all wrong and Perry really has decided to retire from politics to go make money in the private sector. Maybe he and Abbott have already decided on a schedule for that announcement that maximizes Abbott's chances at victory. But from what I see, I would bet Perry is running for re-election.
28 April 2013
Social media buttons on PvW (!)
This website has long looked like it was stuck in 2005. For a good reason, which is that I have never felt like there a long-term commitment to the ol blog.
Well the site still looks like the mid 2000s, but at least tonight I spent the 30 minutes necessary to wade through the API documentation to stick a couple social media buttons here and there. It still does not look right in IE, but oh well.
24 April 2013
Take Public Integrity Unit away from Travis County DA
BOR cogently argues why the Public Integrity Unit of Texas should not belong to the Travis County DA:
Those calling on Lehmberg to resign need to recognize the severity of handing the Public Integrity Unit and the environmental prosecution division over to a Perry crony whose attitude on everything from pre-trial release to the death penalty is likely to be out of touch with Austin's progressive community values.
Executed properly, the Public Integrity Unit invaluably serves all of Texas by enforcing anti-corruption law. Yet our Public Integrity Unit is subject to the whims of white Austin liberals who dominate the Democratic primary in Travis County.* Their current selection Rosemary Lehmberg has shown herself to be unfit for the office in a variety of ways.
Officials who serve all Texans should be accountable to all Texans, not to "Austin's progressive community values."
* One wonders whether moving the Public Integrity Unit to Travis County would pass Voting Rights Act preclearance in the Obama Justice Department.
09 April 2013
In Texas, we call this "shoring up the base"*
Pro-Obama group Organizing for Action went online Monday with ads targeting nearly a dozen lawmakers on gun control legislation. The ads, running on Facebook and search engines, urge viewers to call their senators and push for action.
According to OFA, the ads target constituents of Republican senators in nine states: Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Saxby Chambliss and John Isakson of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Perhaps the carpetbaggers that Obama sent down to form Battleground Texas have been feeding bad information back to Chicago and DC?
I find it amusing that they are attacking Cruz instead of Cornyn, who is actually up for re-election this cycle.
But more amusingly, they aren't actually running any ads against Cruz yet. This morning, I checked Google, Yahoo, Bing and Facebook from a variety of different accounts and couldn't find a single ad. Not a single one.
* Texas will be blue before it turns anti-gun.
08 April 2013
Obama le falla a la media clase
El presidente Obama llega hoy a Miami para hablar sobre la economía, y le doy la bienvenida y lo exhorto a visitar algunos pequeños negocios del Sur de la Florida. Los creadores de empleos de nuestra comunidad sin duda le dirían –como con frecuencia me dicen por toda la ciudad– lo difícil que es en la economía actual administrar un negocio debido a las normas y las regulaciones que vienen de Washington.
El presidente Obama también debería escuchar las historias de muchos de nuestros vecinos para darse cuenta del efecto que más aumentos de impuestos y alzas de los gastos tendrán en la clase media de nuestra nación. Al escucharlos, entendería que muchos aspectos de políticas como el Obamacare han afectado a muchas familias de clase media en vez de ayudarlas. Descubriría que el creciente papel de nuestro gobierno ha creado incertidumbre al establecer reglas que muchos pequeños negocios no pueden seguir.
Miami es donde aprendí que el sector privado de Estados Unidos –si se le deja operar libremente– es el mayor motor de prosperidad y de movilidad económica que el mundo ha conocido. Lo supe viendo a mis padres trabajar duro en empleos de clase media, que existían porque alguien puso un negocio y tuvo bastante éxito para contratarlos. Fueron estos trabajos y los esfuerzos de mis padres los que me permitieron tener una vida mejor que la de ellos. Si estos negocios hubieran tenido impuestos o regulaciones onerosas, sus dueños quizá no hubieran podido mantener el empleo de mis padres, o habrían reducido sus horas de trabajo. Ambas cosas habrían sido devastadoras para nuestra familia.
Indiscutible que Obama es el peor presidente económico de las últimas décadas...y antes también. Lamentable, evitable, pero él sigue con su obsesión ideológica a aumentar el tamaño y poder del gobierno.
31 March 2013
Instead of analyzing, just blame variance
Most analysts say Dewhurst simply was unlucky in his loss to Cruz, which largely can be attributed to a court ruling on redistricting, which postponed the Republican primary from March until May.
That is shockingly inane. You don't spend 20 million bucks of your fortune and then "simply [be] unlucky" when you start out as an overwhelming favorite in the horserace polls. If your analyst/lobbyist suggests anything of the sort, you should fire him/her and cancel any outstanding payments.
It's worth pointing out that before the campaign began, the smart money thought that a Dewhurst defeat was eminently possible. However, Austin-centric conventional wisdom (mostly lobbyists) thought Dewhurst was guaranteed to win (see here, 90% right before the primary here and even more ridiculously right before the runoff. Or even worse, this bit of hilariously bad analysis from Bob Stein)
Dewhurst never cracked 45% in any horserace poll of Republican primary voters. That's not simply bad luck. As one "analyst" once wrote, "Even though [Republican primary voters] think Dewhurst often makes the right decisions, they often feel like they have to push him to get there."
02 March 2013
When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.
Do you think the Obama staffers from Chicago have read this?
20 February 2013
Austin's FOX 7 quotes Ted Cruz opponent as neutral
Austin's FOX 7 does a piece on Ted Cruz's news conference at LaRue Tactical
At best, this is very sloppy journalism.
20 January 2013
Inside the Cave
If you haven't yet read Patrick Ruffini's account of Obama's Analytics, Tech and Online divisions, then here is Inside The Cave. Ruffini catalogued the accounts from media reports, as well as original reporting. It's an impressive job.
My reaction might be different than you expect. After election day there was lots of gnashing of teeth on the right about Obama's tech operation. I kept reading the stories and keep thinking to myself, "and...?" Ruffini inadvertently confirmed that Obama 12 didn't do anything mindblowingly new.
Political campaigns don't do revolutionary. They do evolutionary. Best practices are even slower to disseminate in campaigns than in business. Obama 12 was essentially the same campaign as W 04. Both campaigns had lots of time and plenty of money. They did some minor innovations. Some of it even worked.
02 January 2013
It's not about how you start
Ted Cruz had a pre-swearing in conference call today for bloggers, which reminded me of a funny moment from when he launched his campaign by blogger conference call back in January 2011.
As Cruz began to speak, working up to the moment where he'd declare his candidacy...someone ordered breakfast from the McDonald's drive-thru window. And then kept ordering breakfast. We listened to about 30 awkward seconds of someone ordering McMuffins while completely oblivious that they did not have their phone on mute.
Cruz adroitly rescued the situation by making a crack about Hoover's "a chicken in every pot," but it was an inauspicious beginning.
But, as they say, it's not about how you start, it's about how you finish the campaign.
30 December 2012
They called me crazy
A friend told me last night that I'm not a very good self-promoter. So:
I wrote this in September 2006. At the time the Austin chattering class was saying that Latino Republicans couldn't make it through a Republican primary in Texas.
If I had to bet on who will have the first Latino governor or senator, I'd bet on the elephants. In terms of the farm team, Democrats have more Hispanic officeholders. They've got mayors in the Valley, Congressmen, and state legislators. Republicans have Railroad Commish Victor Carrillo, Congressman Henry Bonilla, Mexico Ambassador Tony Garza, Solicitor General Ted Cruz, and of course George P. Bush. So Democrats have more in number, but it seems that Republicans have more in terms of the stature necessary to win a premier statewide race. However, there's a bunch of GOPers waiting in line to run for statewide office in Texas, so any of those Republicans would have to get through a primary. So I'd say we're still a few cycles away...
Holds up pretty well 6 years later.
In April 2006, after meeting Ted Cruz for the first time at a Federalist Society event, I wrote:
I can definitely see both Ted Cruz and George P. Bush being future statewide officeholders.
06 November 2012
My election prediction is...
...that I'm not going to make one. The pundits on both sides have been cheerleading, not analyzing. I simply don't think there's any reliable, data-driven forecast I can make that edges either way. I'm simply not confident about my ability to predict whether working-class white Ohioans will turnout to vote again for Obama. Clearly Romney wasn't exactly the best candidate for that, either.
It is true that Romney's floor is probably a bit higher than Obama's, in terms of electoral college votes. It's pretty unlikely that Obama can win Florida even in his victory scenarios.
On a slightly related note, as I've mentioned on Twitter: 538's model comes from the same mindset that caused the financial crisis. Obama is definitely not 80% likely to win, and that will be true even if he wins the electoral college by 100+ votes.
One more tangential note: it is amazing how much Americans want to give Obama every possible chance to succeed. He's gotten way more leeway than any other modern president, and that is true whether he wins or loses.
01 November 2012
Is Paul Sadler trying to lose by as much as possible?
Kay Bailey Hutchison's closing ad in the 2010 primary touted her near-unanimous editorial board endorsements:
Bill White's closing ad for the November 2010 election touted his near-unanimous editorial board endorsements:
If you look at the polling (primary here, general here), undecideds broke late for Rick Perry in both races. So the newspaper endorsements and accompanying TV ads certainly didn't hurt Rick Perry . . . and might have helped him.
So what is Paul Sadler doing? Sadler's closing TV ad touts his newspaper endorsements!
You can't make this stuff up.
30 October 2012
That's why they won't donate to Paul Sadler
Yesterday I noted that Paul Sadler has managed the historically dubious feat of raising twice as much money for a local state senate race than he has raised for a statewide US Senate "race."
Why were those trial lawyers (Sadler's colleagues and friends) willing to write $100,000 checks in 2004 and yet most of them haven't written a $2500 check in 2012? Probably because in 2004 Sadler spent their money on ineffective, amateur-ish ads like this one:
Compare that to an ad like Ted Cruz's American Dream:
29 October 2012
Paul Sadler: making Texas "history"
Paul Sandler* is making Texas history. To my knowledge, no other major party candidate in Texas history has raised more (twice as much!) for a state senate election as for a US Senate race. In fact, it wouldn't be shocking to me if he was the only person to pull this off in American history.
In 2004, Paul Sadler spent over $1 million in a state senate special election. His money almost all came in six-figure chunks from Sadler's fellow trial lawyers. Sadler lost, of course, despite trying to sell himself as a moderate. In 2012, Sadler will raise way less than in 2004, and so far has raised under half a million dollars.
That's a pretty dubious feat. Sadler is a historically weak candidate.
* as named by the El Paso Times.
08 October 2012
Why doesn't Paul Sadler call himself a personal injury trial lawyer?
Though he still has several asbestos lawsuits pending on behalf of workers, [Paul Sadler's] legal practice has focused more on regulatory matters over the past five years while he served as executive director of the Wind Coalition, a nonprofit industry group that pushes for wind power in Texas and seven nearby states.
According to Paul Sadler, he practices regulatory law. Sadler's law firm website (http://www.austintxattorney.net/, no link from me) tells a completely different story:
Here's the text of Paul Sadler's "regulatory" law firm webpage:
Austin, TX Personal Injury Lawyer
For a compassionate and knowledgeable Austin, TX, personal injury lawyer, visit The Law Office Paul Sadler. Our attorneys provide personal attention on every case, and we can answer all of your legal questions.
If you were recently injured and are in either physical or emotional pain due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another individual or organization, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. We know that you are going through a difficult time, and we want you to be able to focus on your recovery. That is why our attorneys will work hard to pursue compensation on your behalf. We may be able to secure funds for:
Pain and suffering
If you've been injured and are in need of an Austin, TX, personal injury lawyer, we have a team of professionals ready to evaluate your situation. Call today for more information or to schedule an appointment and see what The Law Office Paul Sadler can do for you.
That's a regulatory practice?
In fact, the "practice areas" part of the Paul Sadler Law Firm webpage doesn't even list regulatory law as part of the firm's purview:
You can't make this stuff up, folks. I know Sadler's not a serious candidate, but whatever kind of law he says he practices, his law firm webpage looks like your standard personal injury trial lawyer.
02 October 2012
Is David Dewhurst the favorite to win re-election as lieutenant governor?
Conventional wisdom says no, and the Texas Tribune kindly quantified conventional wisdom a few weeks ago when 55% of "Insiders" said Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst wasn't likely to be re-elected compared to only 36% who said he was.
I completely disagree: Dewhurst is favored to win re-election, if we assume that he really commits to the race and self-funds the same ~$20 million that he historically has. Those same insiders collectively got the Senate race wrong from the very start to the very finish, so I suppose it's fitting that they are equally mistaken now.
1. Who can raise the money?
Put yourself in a donor's shoes. A fundraiser for Patterson -- the only announced LG opponent so far -- wants you to give. My first two questions would be: 1) can you win? and 2) why did you endorse Dewhurst for Senate a week before announcing your candidacy? As that big donor, you're going to have some serious question marks.
And those question marks apply for almost every Dewhurst challenger. How do Combs, Staples, Patterson, Patrick etc run a race against Dewhurst after they fully endorsed Dewhurst's record as LG?
It's going to be tough for any opponent to raise the money necessary. It's overlooked that Cruz raised a million in his first FEC quarter. That's a serious haul for a federal race (though not for a state race), and it was clear that more money would eventually be available to whoever won the sub-primary. I doubt we'll see any national Super PACs willing to fund an LG challenge to Dewhurst.
2. Dewhurst controls his destiny.
Win legislatively. Imagine a Dewhurst in 2014 that has 1) fought to hold the line on spending, and 2) passed a school choice bill. He joins with Gov Perry in pushing Speaker Straus (if indeed he remains speaker) to pass the budget compact.
Lock up donors. Most speculation centers on multiple challengers that splits the vote and puts Dewhurst in a runoff, a la Senate 2012. Color me skeptical. I'm guessing lots of potential challengers go talk to donors and find that it is going to be tough going in raising the money. After they find donor commitments tough to obtain, I doubt there will be lots of challengers.
So imagine that Dewhurst has done both those things (and spent some time mending bridges with activists). Now tell me who among the downballot officeholders beats Dewhurst head-to-head. I don't see it.
3. People misunderstand Senate 2012.
Probably most of Texas Tribune's Austin insiders still fail to understand the enthusiasm that existed for Ted Cruz. He had relationships going back years, and had been touring the state even before the AG campaign.
It's a different race dynamic when you're running for an open seat instead of running for re-election. Incumbents have much more of an endowment effect bias working in their favor. KBH found this out when she ran against Rick Perry: she had to state a case for replacing Perry, and she didn't.
Also, the Lite Guv role fits Dewhurst's demonstated skill set much better than being US Senator.
X factor: Greg Abbott. If our AG runs for LG, he would be a formidable candidate. But that's a big risk, and if anything Abbott has shown risk aversion over his career. If Abbott is to take a big risk in 2014, why not challenge Perry? Most folks think Abbott would never do this, due to a combination of caution, loyalty and friendship. They'd know better than I would. Even so, it doesn't seem like Abbott running against Dewhurst for LG makes much sense from the AG's perspective.
Of course, implicit in this analysis is that Perry runs again for re-election, which the guv is signalling that he will do. If Perry doesn't run, we may see an Abbott v Dewhurst gubernatorial campaign, in which case I'd call Abbott the favorite (and also why Dewhurst never should have run for Senate)
Dewhurst isn't invulnerable, but he's still the favorite to be re-elected. We all saw what happened in the recent primary and runoff. Yes, he angered lots of voters and activists. But if Dewhurst makes conservatives happy in the legislative session and he puts in some work, he should be in a good position to be lite guv in 2015.
04 September 2012
No Easy Day
Tonight I read "Mark Owen"'s No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, which is #1 on Amazon's best sellers.
It is about what you'd expect it to be: half is the author's thoughts SEAL training and half recounts the day of the May 2, 2011 raid. Impressively, he managed to sleep for most of the 90 minute helicopter ride from Afghanistan to bin Laden's compound.
Owen says he wrote the book to engage the next generation of SEALs, and no doubt he did that. But the book makes it pretty clear that he wanted to set the record straight about the raid and the SEALs. The SEAL Unit Six team was pretty unhappy with the way Obama tried to spike the football and claim credit for it.* Not only did they feel like their own security was violated, they didn't appreciate the way the White House/media reports portrayed them. Owen wanted to set the record straight, and while the prose was occasionally a little lacking, I think he achieved his aim.
* Owen pretty strongly implies that he voted for Obama.
29 August 2012
Ted Cruz interview by Greta Van Susteren
[Previous 20 Entries]