More stumbles for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in her attempt to take out Governor Rick Perry: After saying for months that she would quit the Senate around now to go all in on the gubernatorial race, she has just announced she won't leave until after the GOP primary.
Why? Bad poll numbers leading her to think she'll lose and therefore might want to keep the DC job? Of course not.
As the Dallas Morning News puts it:
Now, she says, she must stay in Washington to fight against Democratic health care and environmental legislation.
"These issues are too important to leave the fight to a newly appointed freshman senator," Hutchison said in a written statement. "A newly appointed senator would be selected in the midst of a political storm. And will need on-the-job training in the midst of a crisis."
Fighting against health-care reform and the environment: A strong GOP platform, that.
Perry's campaign has just issued a statement to reporters that is only slightly snarky.
"We appreciate that Senator Hutchison has taken the Governor's advice and has finally decided to make a decision to stay in Washington," spokesman Mark Miner said. "Hopefully this will allow her to be a full-time senator for the people of Texas."
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What does this mean for Bill White, who's announced for Hutchison's seat?
Well, if Perry succeeds in his current efforts to be the tea-baggingest tea-bagger out there and wins a low-turnout, high-angry-conservative primary, then Hutchison could decide to run for re-election. (Filing deadline for the Senate race is January 4, though, so she would have to make some statement about "I of course will win the primary for governor, but fighting health care and the environment is so darn important I must keep all options open.")
And that would complicate White's race to a huge degree.
So count White in as a strong, strong supporter of the "No Problems Here!!" Kay Bailey Hutchison for Governor campaign.