TX-Sen: Watts matches Cornyn Dollar for Dollar
by Josh Berthume, Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 06:34:11 AM EDT
(Cross-posted from The Texas Blue)
Mikal Watts got things off to a rousing start by matching Cornyn's first quarter money totals dollar for dollar, to the tune of $3.8 million. The Chron has it that Watts wants to start off with a level playing field, which he and Cornyn now have.
The article is short and to the point. The opposing view presented by a guy working for Cornyn:
"The Democrats have a unique way of picking their standard-bearer, and I don't think big money would scare off other competitors," Olsen said.
Olsen said Democrats and Texans may see such a huge personal donation as an attempt to "buy a seat ... Big money may backfire."
Well, there are always arguments among Democrats about candidates who show up for a Democratic primary. Often, it seems as if the early favorite usually, but not always, ends up winning, for the same reasons they were the early favorite. Those early favorites are also usually either reviled or treated with suspicion by a small selection of Democrats who are seemingly wary of anyone who ends up being the early favorite. The discussion from those corners is usually about backroom deals, or some candidate being foisted upon them, or a seat being bought as Olsen describes, and almost none of these ever ends up being the case.
With that being said, the main thing we should focus on here is that this shows you what Mikal Watts can do, not just with money, but strategy as well. This makes a powerful statement and it is certainly a situation that must be something of a surprise for Cornyn. He wasn't lazing around, avoiding the fundraisers -- he's not stupid, and thus was putting some money away -- but this single action by Watts erases any money advantage Cornyn might have had.
Or at least it would if they were already running against each other. This statement is even stronger because Watts donated and loaned the money to his exploratory committee, and there's still a primary ahead of him. By matching John Cornyn before they are literally opponents, Watts has also sent a clear message that he isn't kidding around, and has every intention of being the nominee.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. This whole race is going to be fun to watch. It already is fun to watch.