Dick for Kay
Did the ex-vice president confuse KBH with KBR?
By Richard Whittaker, 10:45AM, Thu. Oct. 29, 2009
One Tweet says it all: "VP Dick Cheney to campaign with #KBH next month" Yes, according to her campaign, former Vice President Dick "Dick" Cheney is going to start stumping with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her pursuit of the Texas governorship.
This is quickly being perceived as a grab for the ultra-conservative types that incumbent Gov. Rick Perry seemed to have sewn up. While it may be a good way to get through the Republican primary, it's unlikely that it will play too well in a general election. Plus, don't count on the conservative vote migrating en masse: There's a big distance between Cheney's "imperial presidency" school of conservatism and the Ron Paul/secession/"guns on the border and Jesus in the classroom" spectrum that Perry courts.
Is this the best move she can make? Well, internal party politics don't seem to be her campaign's strong point (as evidenced by Tuesday's Tweet "Good to see even Dems fighting Dem Leadership + gov option RT @politico Lieberman to filibuster Reid plan"). But since Hutchison's campaign seems to have stalled out, it could be all hands to the oars.
Where it could cause her real problems is amongst Democrats. Why? Because a lot of die-hard Democratic primary voters were talking about holding their noses, walking across the floor, and voting for Hutchison in the GOP primary. And why would they do that, you may ask? Because they want to eliminate Perry as early in the election process as possible. They still plan to vote straight Democrat in November but, like the "Anyone But Craddick" state reps last session, the "Anyone But Perry" primary voters could have made for an unpredictable race.
Democratic activists have been worried that the primary migration would be big enough that it could throw the down-ballot races into disarray. If turnout was really hit, that could also make some skittish donors close their pocket books for the general: So the more regular voters put off by the Cheney-Hutchison connection, the happier they will be.
But what of Cheney's motivation? It seems a little odd that the
unindicted war criminal self-declared foreign policy expert would really see much gain from getting into a parochial bruisefest like a governor's race. But considering that the enmity between Cheney and his ex-boss is a public secret, would it be too hard to believe that opposing his former lite guv is just one more way to stick it to the ex-president?