He’s Sisyphus, and He Approves This Message

Does Chris Bell have a chance in hell to be governor?

MIDLAND IS REPUBLICAN COUNTRY, the rightmost wing of right-leaning Texas, a place where John Kerry mustered less than 18 percent of the vote in 2004 and where Democrats are viewed the way West Texas farmers once viewed prairie dogs: as annoying, persistent vermin that are best exterminated. These days, they are little more than a colorful, oddball minority here, ranking only slightly above Libertarians in the political pecking order.

That is why Midland is the perfect spot, metaphorically, to hear Chris Bell give a campaign speech. It is August 22, 2005, a


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