Tuesday, June 15, 2010

“He’s Kind of Our Nightmare”

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.

In a word, Bill White is the GOP’s “nightmare.”

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.”
Rare it is, he admitted, that Texas voters are able to see their candidates for executive offices respond to a debate moderator’s questions in a spontaneous manner. Said Masset:

“He (White) is plain-spoken. He is very specific-oriented. He’s kind of our nightmare ... Why give him a chance?”
A political and intellectual lightweight, Perry sees no reason to subject himself to a certain verbal pummeling aired on TV statewide. White is to Perry as George Foreman is to Oscar De La Hoya.

Like British Petroleum drilling in the Deepwater, Rick Perry is not well-equipped to deal with the blowout that would happen when he takes the stage alongside Bill White.

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.

1 comment:

New said...

This looks like the classic pere-debate debate to frame the media's debate on debates.

We need to watch out here. This looks to me like the Perry camp trying to set low expectations for him, and make White into the "master debater". Then when the debate actually happens, if Perry can keep from peeing himself, the traditional media in Texas will declare Perry the winner.