Robert Talton has successfully marginalized himself in the Texas House by opposing Tom Craddick in his bid to a third term as Texas Speaker of the House, and by being the lone Republican to vote against HR 4, the Craddick-requested waiver of the 60-day rule so that bills could be considered on the House floor before March. He was so incensed at his committee assignments that he publicly declared that he would never attend a meeting of the Democrat-dominated Criminal Jurisprudence committee. That he later relented and attended a meeting was no surprise. He made his point, why marginalize himself any more than he already has?
There’s still time until March (or will it be February?) 2008, but I’ll bet that he has already drawn up plans to make a run at the Republican nomination for US Congress to oppose Nick Lampson in 2008. Word has it that he and Paul Bettencourt, the Harris County tax collector are circling around each other trying to figure out who has the longest legs, the prettier face, or can make the longest stream.
Nope, Talton is in. He’s become a thorn in the side of Tom Craddick and has worn out his welcome in the Republican-dominated Texas House. Republicans view Nick Lampson as vulnerable. And this is mainly because Democrats have the same view. Witness the fact that the DCCC already has Nick’s name on their short list to send additional money, men and material to his campaign in 2008 – a Democratic “surge” if you will.
What I like about Bob Talton opposing Nick Lampson in 2008 is that HD 144 is not like CD 22. In 2006 Talton won over his Democratic opponent by 16%, but the demographics of CD 22 are not anywhere near that of CD 22. Talton will have a much harder time convincing voters that he is a moderate. Moderates will be winning in CD 22 for some time to come.
But then stranger things have happened. Some of us remember the 1968 election season when America was presented with “The New Nixon”. A kinder, gentler Tricky Dick. Could it be that Bob Talton’s rift with Tom Craddick, the man he formerly supported, is just the beginning of a newer better version of Bob? “Temperate Talton”?