Kay Bailey Hutchison Running for Governor
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 04:07:13 AM EDT
It hasn't been much of a secret in political circles, but Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is running for Governor:
I am running for Governor because Texas must prepare for the future. I am running because I believe it is conservative to demand results and hold government accountable - with integrity and responsibility.
It's presumed that Hutchison will resign the Senate at some point during her gubernatorial run. The logic behind such a move seems crystal clear: her votes today have the potential to hurt her tomorrow. To take one example, if she votes to filibuster Sonia Sotomayor, she has the potential to ingratiate herself with the Republican base in Texas, whom she needs to win over in order to wrest her party's nomination from the incumbent GOP Governor Rick Perry, but she also has the very real potential of turning off Hispanic voters, who very well could determine whether she can win a general election. Flip that vote around and you get the opposite situation -- a less happy base but a slightly better shot in November (if, and that's a big if, she can get through a primary).
The same can be said about any number of other issues before the Senate these days. Running in a contested primary for Governor from the Senate places a candidate like Hutchison between a rock and a hard place. How she could succeed without leaving the chamber -- thus opening up a potential Democratic pick-up in an ensuing special election -- is beyond me.