Pitts' Play
Thu December 28, 2006 3:35 pm

What a wild day this has turned out to be--an historic day. The entry of Jim Pitts into the speakers' race has everybody guessing what he's up to.

Question: Has he entered the race on his own behalf? Or is he a stalking horse for McCall? Or evenCraddick?

Answer: I am told by a man who knows a man, etc. that Pitts is with McCall. Hard to blame him, since Craddick wouldn't let the chairman of appropriations hire staff without the speaker's approval. He provides a safe haven for Republicans who want a speaker other than Craddick but are nervous about joining a coalition that, with 56 Ds and 17Rs, is more than 3/4 Democratic.

But there are alternative scenarios. How about this: Craddick asks the members for one more session as speaker, with Pitts as his heir-apparent. Or, Pitts splits the Ds, allowing Craddick to pick up enough Ds to win. Or, Pitts runs in his own right, and inherits McCalls pledge list plus more Rs of his own, so that, intentionally or unintentionally, it turns out that McCall is a stalking horse for Pitts.

You couldn't make this up. I'll post after Pitts' 4 p.m. press conference at the Capitol.

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