After a day of making calls, I think the speaker’s race is no different than it has been for months, which is a one-person competition (Senfronia Thompson’s announced candidacy notwithstanding) until a Republican wannabe steps forward. Or, as a Republican member told me yesterday (Friday), “It’s a fishing tournament. There’s lots of bait in the water, but no fish on the lines.”
The opposition cannot galvanize until there is a candidate to galvanize around. Until then, the race is just talk–at a louder volume than it has ever been, but still just talk. Craddick has little loyalty among the members, but he does have the fear factor of being able to snap his fingers and generate a primary opponent for any Republican who opposes him, backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars from Leininger, Bob Perry, et al. To be successful, a wannabe is going to have to persuade members that Craddick is a greater threat to their own reelection–and to a continuing Republican majority–than the money is. But first, there has to BE a wannabe. I’m not going to write another word about the speaker’s race until one emerges.