Rarely do you see a GOP operative so candid as Royal Masset, former political director of the Republican Party of Texas, was in answering questions on the likelihood that Governor Rick Perry will actually agree to debate former Mayor Bill White this fall.
Said Masset (as quoted in The Chron):
“There’s a real probability we won’t have a debate. I just don’t think Rick sees it in his interest to have one. All he’d be doing is giving name ID to an opponent.”
“He (White) is plain-spoken. He is very specific-oriented. He’s kind of our nightmare ... Why give him a chance?”
The Chron article goes on to quote UT political science Prof. Bruce Bachmann that the media will pressure Perry into a debate:
“It’ll be increasingly difficult for Perry to say ‘no’ unless the race is so far apart that nobody’s interested in it.”
I’m not so sure about that.
Debating Bill White is a lose-lose scenario for Rick Perry. Only in the unlikely case that Perry gets behind White in the polls would it serve Perry to debate White because it is only then that media criticism of Perry for not debating White will find purchase among the electorate in Texas.
Because in Texas, nobody likes a spineless, yellow-bellied, white-livered fraidy-cat.