Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Molly Ivins Thinks Chris Bell Can Win Texas

Molly Ivins watched the Texas gubernatorial debate last Friday night (of course it was aired during football night, so few people watched it). She gave Bell the win in the debate as did many others who saw him appear with, as he said, his "three Republican opponents." Click on the above link to read her column, but here, an excerpt:

"One overall impression: It seems to me both Strayhorn and Friedman damaged themselves. Lots of people are voting for Kinky for the fun of it, but the thin-skinned Texas Jew reacted badly to questions about his recent racist remarks. He first became defensive and then petulant -- sort of, if you can't take a joke, to hell with you. The politically incorrect humor didn't work because it wasn't funny ... in fact, it was painfully bad. Strayhorn seemed over-prepped and over-amped. As Texas political guru Bob Armstrong said, she talked 40 mph, with gusts up to 70.

So that leaves us with two Protestant white guys again. Just FYI, the percentage of minority citizens working for the state government has gone down steadily since Ann Richards.

Rick Perry and Chris Bell: Compare and contrast.

Rick Perry has really good hair.

Chris Bell has everything else.

Obviously, you think my prejudices are showing here, but others who reported on the debate, while often taking shelter behind the "no major blows landed" dodge, rather clearly thought Bell had done best, even if Perry won on the politics of it by not actually saying anything totally idiotic.

According to the post-debate "fact check" article in the Dallas Morning News, Perry claimed he had pushed a tax bill through the Legislature "lowering property taxes by a record amount." He didn't mention that the bill is not a tax cut, it's a tax-swap -- it didn't lower taxes, it just moved them over to business and smokers.

He also claimed teachers could get a $12,000 raise under his school plan. Actually, the pay raise for teachers is $2,000 across the board, with the stated recommendation to the school districts that they add merit pay raises between $3,000 and $10,000. That's some mighty fancy slicing and dicing there.

Bell picked up a $1 million pledge that night from John O'Quinn, the Houston trial lawyer. The trial lawyers have almost blown a good shot here -- all it takes is one more vote than 36 percent, there is no run-off, this is winner-take-all, sudden death. Polls show two out of three Texas voters ready to vote against Perry. The Democrats have a base vote around 40 percent. I think it would be a real tragedy to throw this one away, and you know what is tripping us up? We think we can't win.

We're in a real "why try, why work, why contribute?" spiral, believing our guy doesn't have a chance. Nonsense. You couldn't ask for an easier win."


pineapple said...

The only thing wrong with Chris Bell is that he isn't crazy enough to be governor of Texas. Let's face it, everyone else in this race is a nut job. He just gets left behind in that race...

Winston said...

I met him at a Democratic meet-and-greet party last spring. He almost upstaged David Van Os. I was quite impressed with Bell's speech. Articulate. And he is good with the courtroom drama thing, although Van Os took center stage with that act.

Winston said...

Confession. I shook his hand and I told him I would vote for him. So I guess I will. So much for Kinky. I just would like to see Bell clamor for the decriminalization of marijuana in the New Philippines, as Friedman has done (he's been endorsed by members of the hemp/pot lobby). Currently, Bell is against, but it's the season for the grease job that politicians inject into United Statesians when election fever infects the country. If Bell said anything like that, the Demos in this territory would jump higher than jackrabbits and head for the mesquite and chaparral where they've been hiding since Ann Richards was defeated by the lying Bushwackers who are stinking up the Beltway with their collective methane politics.