The Governor’s Race: Is she or isn’t she?
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Chris Cillizza, author of “The Fix,” the Washington Post’s politics blog, criticized Rick Perry last week for suggesting that Hutchison might not run: Perry, during a sit-down with a dozen or so Washington-based reporters late last week, said that although Hutchison has already announced her candidacy, he is still skeptical that she will run. “There are still opportunities for her to stay here in Washington and do the job she was elected to do,” said Perry, adding that Texas voters regularly ask him why Hutchison is running…. For all his bluster, Perry appears to be, at the root, engaging in a bit of wishful thinking as it relates to Hutchison. The senator has already embarked on a statewide tour and has hired a fleet of campaign operatives. A similar story appeared in The Hill, a daily newspaper that focuses on politics and is widely read in political circles: Despite his opponent’s seriousness, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) isn’t entirely certain that he will have a primary challenger next year. But to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the question is settled. “I don’t know why he’s skeptical. I think I’ve given every signal that I know how to give that I’m running for governor,” she said in an interview with The Hill on [September 23]. Here is why Rick Perry might be skeptical: (1) Because she has dropped out of a race against Perry twice before. (2) Because she played coy with an exploratory committee for eight months. (3) Because she has not put the issue to rest with an unequivocal commitment. “I think I’ve given every signal that I know how to give that I’m running for governor” is not unequivocal and does not put the issue to rest. Indeed, it invites parsing. As long as she keeps saying things like this, people who are watching the governor’s race are going to have a little bit of doubt. Don’t talk about sending signals. Just make an unequivocal statement. For some reason, it is very hard for Hutchison to commit herself. That is why the campaign continues to be a string of daily one-liners that lacks a coherent message.