Dave Montgomery The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
By Ross Ramsey – Texas tribune
What if Everybody Loses?
Gov. Rick Perry is running for president. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is running for U.S. Senate. And it seems like everyone else in Texas politics is making plans based on one or both of those offices opening in 2012. Then there’s the 2014 election, when most of the statewide spots in Texas government open, and the assumption that neither Perry nor Dewhurst will be on the ballot that year.
What if this has a different ending? What if Perry loses the Republican primary for president and comes home to finish his term? What if he wins the nomination and loses the general election? And what about Dewhurst? What if he loses and comes back to run the State Senate through the Legislature’s 2013 regular session?
They’d both be kind of cranky, don’t you think?
And what about all of those other state officials who’ve been thinking excitedly about what the near future might hold? If the governor and lieutenant governor lose their races, state senators wouldn’t be electing one of their own to handle the rest of Dewhurst’s term or, possibly, Perry’s. The statewide officeholders looking hard at campaigns for 2014 would have to tap the brakes, waiting to see what Dewhurst and Perry do.
The assumption is that Perry would not run for another term, but Texas pols have fallen for that one before. Kay Bailey Hutchison got talked out of a 2006 run for governor by supporters who told her they would back her in 2010 if she’d stay out of the incumbent’s way that year. She did, but Perry surprised her and a lot of other people when he decided to run again in 2010. Read More
The Lone Star Report reported last week that a group previously neutral to the higher ed reform controversy, the Coaltion for Excellence in (CEHE), blasted Governor Perry over his support for reform.
Given extensive associations of CEHE with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and President George W. Bush, both of whom have had differences with Governor Perry in the past, some onlookers wonder if this is a political attack timed to stress Governor Perry’s presidential considerations.
Meanwhile, grassroots activists appreciate Governor Perry’s courage in taking on the higher education establishment. Costs have nearly quadrupled since 1986 without a corresponding improvement in education, and some evidence of slippage. Read More
By William Lutz
The Coalition for Higher Excellence in Higher Education – a group that supports higher education reform ideas offered by the state’s university presidents and chancellors and has expressed concerns with some higher education reform ideas offered from outside academia – fired a rhetorical howitzer at Gov. Rick Perry yesterday. Political observers in Texas are left wondering why the organization chose to attack Perry by name and how this will play out.
The coalition’s main communications consultants used to work for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former president George W. Bush, two elected officials whose political interests have not always aligned perfectly with those of Perry. A member of the coalition’s operating committee, former ambassador and Higher Education Coordinating Board Chair Pamela Willeford, said she has supported Perry, and the organization is bipartisan and is about higher education, not partisan politics. She also said that decisions about what statements to issue are made by the organization’s operating committee, not its consultants.
Wednesday, the University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts Dean Randy Diehl issued a report blasting “7 Breakthrough Solutions for Higher Education” proposed by Texas philanthropist Jeff Sandefer and supported by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The coalition issued a statement supporting the report and calling on elected officials to distance themselves from the 7 Solutions.
Perry’s communications director Mark Miner issued a statement expressing disappointment that University of Texas administrators are so resistant to the governor’s cost control and reform ideas. “University faculty and their allies should join the reform efforts and recommend ways to innovate, improve graduation rates, and enhance accountability and efficiency at Texas colleges and universities,” Miner said. “We all have an obligation to meet the needs of Texas students, employers, taxpayers and our fast-growing economy. Resisting reform and accountability is an unsustainable recipe for mediocrity and stagnation. Texas deserves better.”
Some Austin observers thought that finished that story. Read More
The relationship between George W. Bush and Rick Perry has been cool at best, and a hostility lingers between their top advisers.
Rick Perry was in Iowa three years ago, talking up a favored candidate, when the subject turned to President George W. Bush, a fellow Republican who preceded Perry as Texas governor.
Bush, or “George” as Perry called him, was no fiscal conservative — “never was” — and his work on tort reform, a subject dear to Republican hearts, paled next to Perry’s achievements, the governor said.
“I mean, ’95, ’97, ’99,” Perry went on, elaborately ticking the years off on his fingers. “George Bush was spending money!”
Those are fighting words among Republicans — especially Texas Republicans, who pride themselves on their stinginess — and even more so to Bush loyalists who still simmer over Perry’s off-the-cuff remarks at a house party for White House hopeful Rudy Giuliani. (How dare Perry slap the president like that, the Bush faithful fume, and refer to the leader of the free world as George!)
If Perry runs for president, critics hope to tie him to Bush and those who delivered the self-assured Texan to the Oval Office.
“Is America ready for a president who was George W. Bush’s lieutenant governor, who was George W. Bush’s successor as governor … and who, like George W. Bush, was also a Karl Rove puppet?” taunts Democratic consultant Garry South, referring to Bush’s strategist.
But that jibe ignores what has been, at best, a cool relationship between Bush and Perry, and a lingering hostility between their top advisers. Read More
By Jason Embry
Considering how long ago it began, the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison should be a little more settled by now.
But here it is, less than nine months away from the primary, and candidates are coming, going and waiting.
The most important question in the Republican primary continues to be when and if Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will get into the race. Dewhurst was expected to announce his candidacy in late June, which would be, well, now. But the special legislative session that began May 31 has delayed that.
That special session ends next week, but now there’s a whole new issue on the table. Gov. Rick Perry is considering running for president. A few months ago, Dewhurst floated the idea that he might bypass the Senate race and run for governor in 2014. So Dewhurst could just wait for Perry to become president in 2013 and then ascend to the office of governor, which, of course, is how Perry initially got the job. Read More
One way of looking at Rick Perry’s political career is to conclude that he is extraordinarily lucky.
He first ran for and won statewide office in 1990, just as Republicans were beginning their historic takeover of Texas state government. As lieutenant governor, he was able to move into the Governor’s Mansion when George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election. Now the Lone Star State’s longest-serving governor, he has the potential to join a winnowing field of GOP presidential aspirants as a serious contender.
Another, better way of looking at Perry’s political success is to recognize that he has an uncanny ability to position himself to take advantage of political opportunities.
Perry, after all, entered the Texas House in 1984 as a Democrat. He won reelection as a Democrat in 1986 and 1988, the same year he served as state chairman of Al Gore’s presidential campaign.
Whether Perry left the Democratic Party or the Democratic Party left him, to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan, is immaterial. He perceived the long term trend of rising GOP political power in Texas. He also spotted an opportunity to capitalize on that trend by running in 1990 as a Republican against a nationally recognized figure of liberal Democratic politics — Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower.
Two decades later, Perry faced a formidable primary challenge from popular Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hutchison, who ran a haphazard campaign, tried to shape the GOP race into a referendum on Perry’s tenure: Ten years was enough. Perry recognized the rising influence of the tea party and capitalized on it by turning a gubernatorial election in Texas into a referendum on Washington. Read More
While Bush, Cheney, Rove, Spellings, Baker backed Hutchison.
The buzz surrounding a presidential bid by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is growing, but it’s another Texas governor who is back in the spotlight — George W. Bush.
Bush and Perry don’t just share geographic origins; they also bear the distinctive fruits of the state they served in — their Texas accents, their physic al mannerisms and their cocksure approach to politics.
There are such striking surface similarities that, as in the case of twins or competitive siblings, their very familiarity might breed rivalry. As Bush’s successor as governor, Perry had to distinguish himself as a politician in his own right, and appearing to be a Bush acolyte couldn’t have helped.
Now Perry once again faces the obvious comparison as he weighs a run for the presidency. His success might depend on how well he can differentiate himself from the Bush brand.
And that leads to one other characteristic the two men seem to share: mutual dislike. Both Texas and Washington have long buzzed about a feud between the two, even though few within the Bush or Perry camps will publicly acknowledge it.
Proof positive, some pundits say, comes from the 2010 gubernatorial primary between Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Perry.
Hutchison’s aim was to knock off the sitting governor, and usually, efforts to unseat incumbents aren’t appreciated within the party. But a number of prominent Republicans close to Bush liked the idea so much that they broke the unwritten rule and backed Hutchison. Read More
By Michael O’Brien
Hutchison, who wrangled with Perry in a sometimes-bitter 2010 primary for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, said that she thought Perry would be a “formidable” contender for the nomination nonetheless.
By George Will
DALLAS — For a conservative Texan seeking national office, it could hardly get better than this:
In a recent 48-hour span, Ted Cruz, a candidate for next year’s Republican Senate nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, was endorsed by the Club for Growth PAC, FreedomWorks PAC, talk radio host Mark Levin and Erick Erickson of RedState.com.
And Cruz’s most conservative potential rival for the nomination decided to seek a House seat instead.
For conservatives seeking reinforcements for Washington’s too-limited number of limited-government constitutionalists, it can hardly get better than this: Before earning a Harvard law degree magna cum laude (and helping found the Harvard Latino Law Review) and clerking for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Cruz’s senior thesis at Princeton — his thesis adviser was professor Robert George, one of contemporary conservatism’s intellectual pinups — was on the Constitution’s Ninth and 10th Amendments. Then as now, Cruz argued that these amendments, properly construed, would buttress the principle that powers not enumerated are not possessed by the federal government. Read More
Former Fresh York Megalopolis Mayor Rudy Giuliani аnd Texas Governor Rick Perry саn’t seem tο stay outside οf thе 2012 speculation machine whether thеу desire tο οr nοt. Thеrе іѕ news outside recently concerning both men аnd more signs indicating thаt one οr both сουld launch 2012 bids аt ѕοmе mаrk.
First, report οn Rudy Giuliani frοm thе Boston Globe:
NORTH CONWAY, N.H. — Former Fresh York mayor Rudy Giuliani ѕаіd yesterday thаt hе іѕ pondering whether tο rυn again fοr thе presidency аnd wіll сhοοѕе bу thе еnd οf thе summer. If hе dοеѕ rυn, hе ѕаіd, hе wουld “dο іt thе fаіr path’’ thіѕ age аnd spend more age οn person-tο-person campaigning іn Fresh Hampshire.
In 2008, Giuliani led іn thе polls аt various times аnd wаѕ sometimes dеѕсrіbеd аѕ thе front-runner. Hοwеνеr hе mаdе small effort іn thе first-caucus state οf Iowa, eventually pulled mοѕt οf hіѕ advertising outside οf thе first-primary state οf Fresh Hampshire, аnd focused οn Florida, whеrе hіѕ campaign collapsed.
Giuliani placed fourth іn thе 2008 Fresh Hampshire primary аftеr doing small campaigning here. Hе vowed tο rυn differently іf hе decides tο jump іntο thе 2012 rасе.
“Thе impression wаѕ wе didn’t spend a abundance οf age here ѕіnсе wе didn’t dο іt thе fаіr path,’’ Giuliani ѕаіd. “Wе wеrе spending ѕο much age trying tο raise money thаt wе forgot аbουt thе politics.’’
Thіѕ age, Giuliani pledged tο rυn a more retail-style campaign. “Much more talking tο human beings, meeting wіth thеm, getting thеіr thουghtѕ,’’ Giuliani ѕаіd.
Giuliani specifically hasn’t ruled іt outside аnd seems tο actively bе mаkіng thе сhοісе іn thе public eye. Call іt аn extended testing thе waters phase I suppose. Still, hіѕ views haven’t changed οn topics such аѕ gay marriage аnd abortion ѕο hе wіll hаνе thе same tough age іn thе socially conservative states οf Iowa аnd South Carolina іf hе wаntѕ tο gеt аnу traction.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) looks increasingly likely to enter the 2012 presidential race, with sources telling the Daily Caller he is “90 percent” in. This morning, to discuss the potential run and Perry’s bombastic rhetoric, MSNBC host Chuck Todd brought on Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), who unsuccessfully ran against Perry for the governorship last year.
By Jason Embry
Some of the Republicans in a fluid field of candidates planning to run for the U.S. Senate next year shared a stage Wednesday in what often seemed a race to see who could give the most strident criticism of President Barack Obama.
Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Ames Jones, Tom Leppert and Roger Williams fielded 90 minutes’ worth of questions at an evening forum sponsored by The Texas Tribune and KLRU-TV. But a couple of players who could figure prominently in the race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison weren’t there. Read More
B-CS Eagle critiques Perry’s ‘obsession and interference’ with university
The editorial boards of the Bryan-College Station Eagle and San Antonio Express-News are taking on Gov. Rick Perry for meddling in the affairs of Texas A&M University, accusing him of harming the institution. The Eagle’s critique was particularly scathing, saying that Perry’s “obsession and interference in A&M” has caused “damage some observers feel could take a generation to undo.”
Citing the Dallas Morning News, the Express-News criticized Perry for forcing Chancellor Mike McKinney into early retirement: “Will the governor use this as an opportunity to put in place a “yes” man who he can control from Austin? We hope not. There needs to be an independent national search for a new chancellor for the A&M University System. An appointee with political ties to the governor could spell disaster on several fronts.” Read More
By Todd J. Gillman/Reporter
After a rocky first week as a presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich pointed this morning to Texas for inspiration – specifically, to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s come-from-behind landslide in last year’s GOP primary.
The Perry-Gingrich nexus is unusually tight. Rob Johnson , who ran Perry’s campaign, is now running the former House speaker‘s bid for president; Gingrich brought him along for breakfast with reporters at a hotel near the White House.
“Rob Johnson,” Gingrich said, “…was Rick Perry’s campaign manager when Perry began 27 points behind Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison , who Washington `knew’ was going to win, and ended up beating her by 21. Now, we don’t expect quite that big a swing against President Obama, but we could. Things’ll be interesting.” Read More
By ELIZABETH SOUDER
Rex Tillerson said Thursday that he employs 1,200 people with doctorates, and he relies on university research to push energy technology ahead. If Texas or the U.S. cannot produce, he will turn elsewhere.
“As a private-sector international global company, we’re going to go where we can find the solution. We have to,” he said during a panel discussion at the University of Texas sponsored by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.
“I hope we can find a lot of [scientists] here, because this has been the foundation for us. This is still the place we go to for most of our academic talent, the United States,” he said.
Tillerson stepped into a hot debate on a subject dear to the Irving oil company, one of the few energy companies that still employ a group of scientists to do basic research independent of any new product.
As some of the university system regents appointed by Gov. Rick Perry consider implementing sweeping programs to put more emphasis on teaching, the academy, co-founded by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, held a panel discussion Thursday on the importance of research. Most of the panelists, including Tillerson, had supported Hutchison financially when she challenged Perry for governor. Read More
Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune
It’s Rick Perry versus the nincompoops. That’s not a slap at the Republican field, but at the political chatterers who just can’t or won’t believe the Texas governor when he says he doesn’t want to run for president.
Nobody believes him, which makes it easier for some to contend that he is making a grab at the highest political office in the land.
It’s not that Mr. Perry is lying. It’s that politicians so regularly lie about prospective campaigns that his actual words don’t matter. What matters is the sense of things and perception.
The governor is in a great position. His name is in the conversation, but he doesn’t have to trek to Iowa and New Hampshire, and he doesn’t have to open a federal campaign account, and he doesn’t have to fend off attacks from declared candidates. He’s in place if there’s a draft, but not at risk of an embarrassing loss. How can you lose a race you’re not running? Read More