Chad’s Morning Brief: All Signs Point To Wendy Davis Running for Texas Governor, Do Republicans Need a Governor in 2016?, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 19, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
1. Is She In? (link)
Wayne Slater with the Dallas Morning News seems to think Wendy Davis is running for Governor.
Two pieces of advice have pushed Sen. Wendy Davis to the brink of announcing for governor next month. First, some Democratic heavyweights are privately pressing the idea that the race, although difficult, is winnable. The second argument that apparently has proved persuasive is that however hard, somebody has to step up — why not her? At a fundraiser Friday for Emily’s List, Davis sounded like a candidate for Texas governor. Her filibuster against an abortion bill has won her national attention. Davis’ comments Friday were similar to those earlier this month in Austin at a Freedom of Information luncheon.
On Friday in San Francisco (count on Republican front runner Greg Abbott to say the words “San Francisco” a lot), Davis was the main attraction. Emily’s List raises money for Democratic women who support abortion rights. She told the crowd she was looking “very, very seriously” at a run for governor. Rick Perry is not seeking re-election, Abbott and former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken are vying for the Republican nomination. Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle had the story.
.Speaking like a candidate, the Fort Worth Democrat said a run for governor could be “a hard journey.”
Saying the race was “winnable,” Davis added, “I really think hard things are worth fighting for, and … we have a real opportunity in the state of Texas.”
That argument — the race would be hard but hard things are worth fighting for — is reportedly at the top of her thinking at the moment. A Davis aide says she’ll decide just after Labor Day whether to run for reelection to the Texas Senate or launch a long-shot bid for governor. No Democrat has won the governor’s office in Texas since Ann Richards in 1990. The GOP holds every statewide office and controls both chambers of the Legislature. Political experts say that while demographic changes will make the Democratic Party competitive again in a few years, Republicans still likely will have a double-digit advantage next year. When Richards first ran for governor, she was in the dominant party. But she tried to temper any ties with San Francisco and Hollywood – not exactly the favorite places of conservative Texas voters. For example, Richards sent back a check from Jane Fonda before she had to report it on her campaign finance filings.
Democrats are pushing the idea that a Davis candidacy would be more than just about abortion. She advocates improving public education, equal pay for women and funding for programs that assist lower income families.
“When I think about women, and what women bring to the conversation politically, there’s such an incredible power that comes from who we are,” said Davis. “We fight like hell for everything we hold dear, and I think that’s why we scare our counterparts so much.”
I do believe Wendy Davis will run for Governor, but is the race winnable? Well I guess anything could happen but the chances of her winning are slim. Real slim. So why should she jump into the race? Most likely she will lose one way or the other. Many are looking at her Senate seat as a tough race for her. It would be really embarrassing for Texas Democrats if their golden girl were to lose her Senate seat. If she runs for Governor, money will flow in from around the country. Not enough money to help her win, but it’s still money. And yes, there is a chance that Democrats could wake up and become energized.
However, I think a Wendy Davis run for Governor is great for Republicans. Republicans could pick up another Senate seat, though Republicans controlling the Senate hasn’t meant much for many conservative issues, but it will be another seat. Republicans and conservatives will become energized because Abortion Barbie will be the poster child for Texas Democrats. You could see voter turnout surge because of this. Only about 30% of people agree with Davis’ position on abortion after 20 weeks. When that is all you are known for, that isn’t good. Republicans could reach out to the Hispanic community and highlight this.
So while Democrats are giddy that Davis will run for Governor, it should be Republicans who have the biggest smile on their faces.
2. A Governor for 2016 (link)
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air believes that Republicans should look to a Governor for 2016. He argues that while Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio could all become the GOP candidate, a Governor might be the best choice.
No one doubts that Cruz has a bright future in the Republican Party, but that doesn’t mean the future is now.
Cruz, like Rubio and Rand Paul, have only barely arrived on the national stage and are many years younger than their sell-by date. None of the three has held executive office yet. Both Paul and Cruz have only won one election in their career. All three have made an extraordinary impact as freshmen senators, but they are still mainly untested outside of a single electoral cycle.
Additionally, Republicans have more options: By the time 2015 rolls around and candidates have to commit to a run, a number of GOP governors will be staking out their ground as well.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will almost certainly use his considerable media presence and blunt style to launch the next phase of his career. Scott Walker has to win a re-election bid in Wisconsin in 2014; a win will re-establish his fighting credentials on budgets and reform.
Mike Pence got some attention early in the 2012 cycle as a potential presidential contender, but decided to go home to Indiana to add executive office to his already-impressive conservative credentials. Susana Martinez, who like Cruz was given a featured-speaker slot at the national GOP convention last year, should sail to a 2014 re-election in New Mexico, with approval ratings that have never dropped below 60%.
We can add a couple of other names to that list, too. Nikki Haley might be a popular choice, and Rick Perry will almost certainly give it another go. Don’t count out Bobby Jindal, either, who has built a great track record of reform in Louisiana, a state that has infamously resisted it.
Allahpundit posted Larry Sabato’s prediction that Walker would emerge as the front-runner, and I think that’s a relatively safe bet, although not even odds. I’d guess it will be Walker and Martinez, assuming both win their re-election bids next year. I very much doubt that the GOP are going to go for a Beltway figure in 2016, or for any Republican from the Northeast again, either. With the plethora of executive-office holders outside of Washington ready to enter the mix, the Senate freshmen will need to get a little more seasoning before preparing for a presidential bid.
3. Is Chris Christie the Moderates Rick Perry? (link)
Joel Pollak argues that Chris Christie is the moderate version of Rick Perry. A guy who plays well regionally, but fails nationally.
There’s much talk about Chris Christie as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 (yes, already). Christie is certainly gearing up for a run, and has begun by attacking potential GOP rivals. But while moderate Republicans like Christie for 2016, he is their version of what Rick Perry was for conservatives in the 2012 race: a locally successful governor whose attributes will not stand up well on the national stage.
Perry had much to recommend him as a national contender: staunch conservatism on most policy issues, and an economic record that even liberals would find attractive. But his Texas swagger translated poorly once he entered the race, especially for an electorate still weary of the folksy mannerisms and frontier rhetoric of the Bush years, which came to be identified–largely unfairly–with cronyism, aggression and incompetence.
Likewise with Christie’s New Jersey attitude. His willingness to stand up to greedy unions–especially the teachers’ union–endeared him to conservatives. But his tough-guy routine is less attractive when deployed against opponents. While oddly deferential to President Barack Obama during Hurricane Sandy, he shows little tolerance for dissent, even when he is clearly in the wrong. That may play well in Trenton; it won’t, elsewhere.
There is no clear leader in the Republican pack, though there is plenty of talent in the field. The Democrats have the opposite problem: a clear favorite in Hillary Clinton, and almost no one else with any credibility or a record to recommend them. Better to have the former problem than the latter, while the future political and ideological direction of the GOP remains contested. Who knows which new leaders may emerge in the near future?
The problem with Rick Perry wasn’t his swagger or that he was from Texas. The problem with Perry in 2012 was that he was terrible in debates and was coming off of back surgery. While Rick Perry may not become the GOP nominee, I don’t believe he only plays well in Texas.
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