The Austin Chronicle

Kinky Begins Again

By Richard Whittaker, September 1, 2009, 4:07pm, Newsdesk

Two years after he first mentioned it, today's the day that Kinky "Crackheads and Thugs" Friedman officially starts running for governor, this time as a Democrat.

In 2006, when he ran as an independent, his campaign slogan was "Why the Hell Not?" This time, the question may be "Why?"

Not that you'll get too many clues from his campaign website, which hasn't been updated since August 10. He might want to get a move on with that: On his (presumably outdated) issues page, he rails against how "the parties sell themselves to big donors." That could lead to some awkward dinner conversations.

He might gain some traction over his early adoption of health care reform last cycle, but he may need a lot more strategy than that to survive a primary. The party mucky-mucks seem to be falling in behind Tom Schieffer. His "Jewish cowboy" charm may also run thin, since a chunk of the grass roots is getting interested in the more authentically countrified Hank Gilbert.

It will be interesting to see how excited activists are about his entry to the fold. There's still a lot of bad blood stemming from the belief that, if amateur candidate Kinky and professional candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn hadn't been out there muddying the waters, then Democratic candidate Chris Bell might have had a better shot in the last race to dislodge Gov. Rick Perry.

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