Chris Cilizza covers the excitement surrounding the possibility that Houston mayor Bill White will enter the race for Governor of Texas. This weakens our position in the Senate race, as that's what White was running for before. On the Republican side, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson is leaving the Senate seat to challenge Gov. Rick Perry in the primary. I don't know why all the top-tier people are trying to become governor -- among the 50 states, the Texas Governor is one of the weaker state executives.
The office does, however, come with the power to appoint creationists to the State Board of Education. Since Texas is the largest unified textbook market in the country, Republican Texas governors are a menace to children across the land.
Because you don't have to fly to DC every week, and it's pretty easy to be a popular governor.
White must read the situation that KBH will lose the primary and therefore not resign her seat. Or, at least, he believes he'll have better odds than he would if he were tied to the national party more. I really hope the read is the former.
Based on the timing, I'd say that the reasoning is the former.
It's almost certainly (in part) the former, Nick, but I'm not sure the latter is bad news per se. White simply isn't going to be able to out guns-and-abortion the notional Republican (Dewhurt, Joe Barton, whoever) who runs to replace KBH if she does resign. Running for governor will let him focus on local issues where his reputation for managerial genius acquired during post-Katrina Houston is probably more valuable than in a Senate race where his opponent can demagogue on culture war issues. (Which obviously Perry will try to do anyway, but "I cut property taxes in Houston" is a better rejoinder in a gubernatorial election.)
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