Re-Dunking the Tea Bag
Looking back on our first Medina mention
By Richard Whittaker,
2:50PM, Mon. Feb. 8, 2010
It seems that the Republican gubernatorial primary is less about Gov. Rick Perry versus Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and more about Perry versus Debra Medina. But was this really unexpected? Let's take the way-back-when machine to April 16, 2009: That was the first time we mentioned Medina's candidacy. What did we say?
(Note: We weren't the first people in the press corps to note her candidacy: That honor probably goes to Charlie Kuffner at Off The Kuff.)
Medina wasn't at last April's Tea Party protest at Austin City Hall, but enough of her supporters were to make Newsdesk pay attention:
[Ron] Paul's support in no small part flows from a discontent from the right and small-l libertarians about the recent direction of the Republican Party. More worrying for Perry might have been the smattering of signs and t-shirts for Wharton County GOP chair Debra Medina: As Perry tacks to the right and launches vaguely veiled smears against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison before next year's primaries, he's heading straight for the political territory that Medina is aiming to colonize. [Conservative Republicans Against Perry founder Robert] Morrow added, "It's not that (Perry's) trying to co-opt (the protests), he's scared about the primary, that's he's going to lose in 2010, so he's going to pretend to be a conservative for a year.Ten months later, Perry has dabbled with secession, smeared Hutchison as a Washington insider without naming her, and indulged in garish, policy-free campaign stunts like hanging around with failed vice-presidential candidate turned Fox News talking head Sarah Palin and walking argument against the Second Amendment Ted Nugent. All the while, Medina is polling in the mid-teens and Perry is staring down the barrel of a costly run-off.
Speaking of the barracuda and the Nuge, here's an interesting coda. Palin has adapted high dudgeon for Rahm Emanuel's foolish comments and declared a war of fake pique for David Letterman's comments about her daughter, while the Nuge has thrown around every epithet possible and became the "legal guardian" (hem-hem) of 17-year-old Pele Massa. That couldn't have been an awkward meeting at all. They probably just talked about guns.