That said, the first items of considerable note come, ironically, from right here in Austin.
From Texas Monthly's September issue: "There were doubts about [Bush campaign communication director Karen] Hughes too; skeptics in the national press predicted that she would be too controlling, too protective, too reluctant to grant access ..."
But Paul Burka, the Monthly's executive editor, lead politics writer, and author of that sentence, found a way to neatly sidestep any access problems he might have: He wrote up Hughes as one of the magazine's "Texas Twenty: The Most Impressive, Intriguing, and Influential Texans of 1999." With absolutely unrestrained gushing over her loyalty, values, and the excellence with which she does her job, Burka surely guaranteed that he will be in the good graces of the Bush campaign until November of 2000 and probably afterward, as well. So much for an adversarial press.
Of course, as The Texas Observer points out in its September 17 issue, "It's no secret that the Texas press corps loves George W. Bush." But what about the national press? Serving as a good precursor to what this column intends to do for the next year, the Observer takes a good look at how Bush is playing elsewhere, examining articles in Talk, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and the Washington Post, "to find out what's not being reported at home." As always, the Observer is required reading for Texas politics.