Posts Tagged ‘Carole Stewart Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn’

Burka Gets Kinky

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Liberal fossil Paul Burka is peeved that Kinky Friedman might run for office again. “When Friedman ran for governor in 2006, he helped make it impossible for Rick Perry to lose in a four-way race. By helping to divide the vote among four candidates, he enabled Perry to win with a pitiful plurality of 39%. I have no doubt that Friedman’s intention was to help Perry.”

Burka calls another possible Friedman run “sick comedy.”

A few points:

  1. When Friedman jumped into the 2006 Governor’s race as an independent in early 2005, it wasn’t a four-way race. It only turned into one when Comptroller Carole Stewart Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn realized that Perry was going to slaughter her in the GOP primary and dropped out to run as an independent.
  2. Watching the race unfold, I didn’t get the impression Friedman was running to ensure Perry’s re-election, but A.) Because he thought it would be fun to run for governor (and maybe even fun to be elected governor), B.) He was dissatisfied with the status quo, and C.) Given Jesse Ventura’s fairly recently election as Minnesota Governor, Friedman thought he could win as an independent. He was wrong, but it didn’t look like an inherently risible proposition when he ran.
  3. If Perry’s 39% was pitiful, what do we call Democrat Chris Bell’s 29%?
  4. By competitiveness standards, have Democrats run any “non-joke” candidates statewide in Texas lately?

Now, I happen to agree with Burka’s assessment of Friedman’s political chances. But more interesting is the reason he feels the need to opine on them.

Underlying Burka’s lament, and his obvious bitterness over Kinky’s candidacy, is the idea popular among his fellow liberal journalists that someone could have beaten Perry in 2006 if Kinky hadn’t split the vote. In some ways it’s a defensible position, as that was a “Bush Fatigue” wave year for Democrats and Perry was suffering from a number of self-inflicted wounds (toll roads, the Trans-Texas Corridor proposal, etc.). And maybe a popular, polished, well-funded Democratic candidate just might have had a chance to defeat Perry in 2006. Unfortunately for the Democrats (though fortunately for us), none was apparent on the scene in 2006. Or any time, really, since Bob Bullock and Ann Richards retired. Democrats didn’t come close to sending Perry home in 2006, and they haven’t any time since, letting him retire undefeated in gubernatorial contests.

And so Burka’s great white whale escaped yet again…