Saturday, November 14, 2009

Whither Bill White?

Now that Kay Bailey Hutchison has all but slammed the door on a special election in May to replace her in the Senate, I have to wonder what soon-to-be former Mayor of Houston Bill White’s plans are.

Recall that yesterday, KBH ended speculation that she would resign from her senate seat this month (at the latest) to concentrate her efforts on beating Rick Perry in the Texas GOP primary by declaring that she would not consider it until after the primary.

This had the dual effect of taking away a Rick Perry talking point that Hutchison would be abandoning her post while the senate healthcare reform bill is coming to a vote, and giving Perry credit for talking some sense into the poor confused gal.

But now, what about Bill White?

I went to his “Bill White for Texas” website and read the official take on her refusal to give up the seat. Here is what they say:
“You may have heard that Kay Bailey Hutchison again stated her intention to resign her Senate seat in 2010, regardless of who wins the Republican primary for governor.”

“Every day that Bill White campaigns, he earns support. We've always expected that the election for Texas' next Senator would be a special election after the March gubernatorial primaries, and that hasn't changed. Bill's running to work for Texans in the U.S. Senate.”
That’s actually something I have not heard, but I wanted to verify this so I visited, CBS, The Chron, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Nowhere among those news sources is there any language to the effect that Kay Bailey Hutchison intends to resign from her senate seat regardless of who wins the March primary.

This is what was announced as printed in the Chron:
“She will announce tomorrow at the Texas Federation of Republican Women's Convention in Galveston that she will not be resigning her seat before the primary.”
“Before the primary.” Nothing is being said about what she intends to do after the primary. Well, OK, here is what they wrote at the Star-Telegram:

“Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will announce today that she will remain in the Senate while she runs against Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 governor’s race and will not resign her seat until after the March 2 Republican primary, her campaign staff said Friday.”
But by that, I take it that she will resign from her senate seat once she has won the primary and will be on the ballot for the November 2 general election for governor.

And then I came upon the story as reported at AP, and it is there that you find the quote that Bill White is apparently piling up all of his bets on. Included in her Galveston speech are these words, words that the other news sources have steered clear of printing:

“‘I will be resigning this Senate seat,’ Hutchison says in the speech. ‘For all of the good Republicans out there who plan on running for my Senate seat next year, make no mistake, this is going to happen.’”
Or not. After all, the mayor’s campaign website may have intentionally been named (and not, optimistically, for precautionary reasons that are now becoming reality as each day passes.

I am pessimistic. After all, this is the person who was going to resign in September, then October/November, and now not until after the primary. And I have to ask myself why would anyone resign from a perfectly good senate seat whether they win the primary or not? What is with all of this goodwill toward fellow Republicans who are standing on the sidelines gnashing their teeth at the senator’s constantly changing wind patterns?

I for one think that Kay Bailey Hutchison is going to thumb her nose at Cathie Adams and the rest of her Rick Perry-loving coterie and pull an “Emily Latella” a character famously created by one of the best comediennes SNL ever had:

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