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Five Decisions That Took Less Time Than Bill White Figuring Out If He'll Run For Governor

Bill White brought the Texas political world to a standstill yesterday when he convened a press conference to make the momentous announcement that....he was going to take some time to think about running for Governor instead of Senator.

In a little over a week, he said, he'll make up his mind.

Somehow we suspect that we'll hear of an overwhelming outpouring of Texans demanding he run for Governor, all but forcing him to make the race he has been insisting he would never enter.

But does it really take 10 days to make this decision?

Malcolm Gladwell, whose book Blink argues for the benefits of a snap decision, would not be happy. On the other hand, Gladwell obviously cannot relate to how long it takes a bald man to decide something.

But let's examine some momentous decisions that took a whole lot less than 10 days to make, and see if it's better to take your time.

1. Invade Iraq because of 9/11.
It's been conclusively proven to anyone but the willingly blind that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Unfortunately for thousands of U.S. soldiers, the willingly blind included George W. Bush. Anti-terrorism expert Richard Clarke writes of how in the immediate wake of the attacks, Bush told him to focus on Iraq. That's leadership. Not good leadership, per se, but leadership of a kind.
Advantage: Bill White.

2. Keeping Clarence Clemons in the E Street Band over Vini Lopez.
According to his godawful book Big Man, Clemons and Lopez didn't get along at all after the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band. Drummer Lopez constantly criticized him, Clemons says, so much that he put an ultimatum to Springsteen -- either he goes or I go. Seconds later, Lopez was an ex-E Streeter.
Advantage: Not Bill White.

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3. LBJ runs for Congress.
You want a snap decision? In February 1937 Lyndon Johnson, then head of FDR's National Youth Administration in Texas, was walking along a Houston street when he saw a copy of the Post blaring the headline that James Buchanan, congressman from the Hill Country's 10th District, had died. Did LBJ wait 10 days to hear from the vox populi about whether he should run? Hell, no. He was in the race before he read the sub-head. And he won.
Advantage: Not Bill White.

4. Britney Spears marries Jason Alexander in Las Vegas.
Sure, it wasn't that Jason Alexander. She might have gouged out her eyes when she woke up if that were the case. Instead it was a childhood buddy, some champagne and a convenient wedding chapel that led to 55 hours of wedded bliss.
Advantage: Bill White.

5. Having Brad Lidge pitch to Luis Albert Pujols.
Hey, what could go wrong?
Advantage: Bill White.

So, according to this scientific survey, Gladwell is wrong and such momentous things as deciding which political race to lose in 2010 should be made with all deliberateness. So take your time, mayor. We can wait.

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