Kay Bailey Hutchison Continues To Nail Down The Inside-The-Beltway Vote So Important To The Texas GOP This Year

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison rolled out the big guns today as President George H.W. Bush endorsed her. Coming on the heels of the recent endorsement of former Secretary of State James Baker, Hutchison has ably demonstrated what it takes to win the GOP gubernatorial primary. If it were being run in 1990.

The frothing, anti-Beltway rage of the teabaggers -- the only people who will be motivated enough to vote in this thing -- is unlikely to be assuaged by endorsements from the elderly remnants of the former GOP establishment.

Republican primary voters this time around will be taking their cues from Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. People who still don't entirely dismiss the whole Obama birth certificate thing won't be impressed with Bush & Baker.

But Hutchison thinks Bush's endorsement will carry weight. We haven't seen such tone-deafness since...well, this week, when in the midst of the Haiti suffering Hannity kept yammering on how the GOP upset in Massachusetts was "an earthquake."

Now it's true that the latest polls show Perry at 43 percent, and unlike the race where he was re-elected in 2006 with that percentage, the primary will have a runoff if no one gets more than half the vote. So you could say that is still a generally unliked governor who can't close this deal.

On the other hand, we're insisting that when it comes to motivation for GOP voters this year, the momentum won't be with the people who are slightly, or more than slightly, embarrassed by tea-baggers talking secession. It will be with those secession-talkin', stimulus-refusin' no-sense-makin' dittoheads who have no patience for some Washington Dee-Cee Senator who voted with Obama some of the time.

No, if Hutchison really wants to win this thing through endorsements, she's going to have to aim higher.

1. This guy.

Sure, he's a Cardinal fan, and that's going to hurt in Houston. But the vast Power of the Mullet remains untempered in Pasadena and Baytown.

2. This guy.

That's Dale Robertson, head of teaparty.org, at a Houston event at which he apparently borrowed the Cardinal guy's spelling dictionary. Right now we're guessing Robertson is a Perry man, but maybe if Bush and Baker can speak reasonably to him about the subtleties of geopolitics in a post-Cold War world, he'll come around.

3. These guys.

Of course everyone wants Charlie Daniels' endorsement; that's a given. When it comes to a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing a 21st Century superpower, there is perhaps no one more respected in the entertainment field, except possibly Ted Nugent and Lee Greenwood.

But you can't stop with just Daniels -- you need his band. Hutchison can forget about the guy on the lower right; he obviously spends enough time and money on his hair that he can be nothing but a Perry man. But Old Dude With Sunglasses? He's key. Get him, and Hutchison just might have a chance.

Or she could, you know, just keep rolling out irrelevant retreads like Bush (irrelevant to tea-baggers, that is.) Perry will keep rolling out Sarah Palin.

Between those two, we know who we'd take in a geography quiz.

And who we'd take in a "Who helps most in the Texas GOP primary?" quiz.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly