Saturday, December 19, 2009

What’s in a Name Like Farouk Shami Anyway?

Outgoing Mayor Bill White is looking for a soft landing in the Texas governor’s mansion – wherever it is right now. But in doing so he has to get by two people: Farouk Shami who is opposing him in the Democratic primary, and then Rick Perry who is poised to give Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison the shellacking of her life in next year’s Republican primary.

Now I have checked, and it looks like Farouk Shami may have a name recognition problem here in Texas. But not the kind of name recognition problem that most people associate with those who run for statewide office. Shami’s problem is that too many Texans will take one look at Farouk Shami’s name and recognize that he comes from the Middle East.

Farouk Shami is a Palestinian immigrant – and a Christian.

But that doesn’t mean anything to Texans. There are still Texans out there who think that Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim.

And Texans hate, just hate immigrants.

This is despite the fact that most Texans live in houses built by Mexican migrant laborers.

Now it’s true that people who vote in the Democratic primary are mostly Democrats, and it is also true that most Democrats are not rabid anti-immigrant Muslim haters. But it is also true that Democratic primary voters not only vote for the person who best reflects their own point of view but also vote for the one that they think will perform the best against a Republican opponent.

And that’s why Farouk Shami hasn’t a chance.

Not a chance of a snowball in H-E-Double Hockeysticks.

Democrats really and truly want to rid Texas of the chain of bad leadership that they have had in Austin since 1994, and with Rick Perry catering to an ever-shrinking neoconservative minority, they see a chance for that to finally happen. But I think most will see an unnecessary risk in voting for Farouk Shami in the primary. Maybe he’s an OK Democrat, I really haven’t looked, but most Texans realize that if Shami makes it onto the ballot in November, people will come out to the polls simply to vote against “that Muslim.”

And that’s not just a possibility, that is a prediction.

And I’m not the first to predict this. Kinky Friedman, who is a friend of Shami’s agrees and has even told him so.

From the Dallas Morning News blog:

“‘I told Farouk if he's going to put 10 million bucks into a race, why not consider putting in another 200 bucks and change your name? You know?’ Friedman recalled, adding: ‘He did not find that amusing.’”
Maybe he wasn’t amused. But it was still some good advice.


Anonymous said...

I like Shami (D) and Medina (R) they are the only ones knocking the monied interests around. Who needs more of "the mansion goes to the highest bidder". Stop selling out the state.

Anonymous said...

There may be another point concerning Farouk Shami that Democrats don't like besides his Middle-Eastern background. It's that his Democratic Party affiliation is in question.

From Texas Tribune article entitled A Candidate to DYE For by Ross Ramsey (man with humor in his pen) dated 12.05.2009

Shami is all over the place with his contributions!

Shami contributed:
$24,000 to Friedman in last governor's race
"Shami also contributed to former Rep. Martha Wong, R-Houston, who lost a 2006 race to Democrat Ellen Cohen in May this year, he gave $5,000 to Republican Ted Cruz, who had his sights set on a run for attorney general. In federal races, he's contributed to candidates of all political stripes this decade, including Democrat Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Houston, Houston Mayor Bill White (for the U.S. Senate race), Ralph Nader (in 2004 and 2008), Tennessee Democrat Graham Leonard, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the same month he gave to Cruz), and the Republican National Committee (most recently in 2007)."

His payment (by Farouk Systems) to Ralph Nader... $9,200 in 2008 Presidential bid.

Also, I wonder how much money Mr. Shami has contributed to Kinky Friedman's campaign for Ag Comish? Friedman's endorsement of Shami must have cost some costly hair care products at the very least.

Hal said...

Medina is not an (R)Anon. She is an I, or more to the point, she is a "T" that is a Tea Partyer. You like Shami, a gazillionire, or Medina a Texas Tea Party darling. Anon, you have very twisted politics governing you.