In case you think the governor is running for reelection just to keep from being a lame duck, you might want to read this letter that went out to supporters: Message from Texas Gov. Rick Perry: We have only begun to fight Dear Friend, While I was certainly disappointed by the recent national election results, I am not disheartened. If anything, the last two elections have confirmed one important fact: Republicans should not only campaign as conservatives, but govern as conservatives too. The Democrats have won a battle, not a war. And when the Democrat definition of “change” is finally clear – when Americans realize that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are left of liberal – our resurgence will begin. We can either use this time to wander through the wilderness of discontent, complaining and carping about the state of our party and the left-leaning media, or we can start planning the rebirth of the Republican brand by espousing a conservatism that puts people to work, that believes in the ingenuity of private enterprise, that functions from a place of optimism and faith in the individual more than the institutions of government. This is not the time for timidity – but for bold ideas that crystallize the differences between two opposing philosophies. Some think that the political pendulum will swing back now that the Democrats have total control over Washington. While I certainly see an opportunity for the re-emergence of a conservative movement focused on lunch pale [sic] issues, it won’t happen if we simply offer opposition – only if we offer an alternative. We cannot merely object to socialized medicine, we must offer consumer-driven alternatives. We cannot simply say “no” to the failed status quo in education, but provide a vision that empowers parents and educators to offer a better product that prepares more students for the jobs of a high-tech economy. And we cannot allow the true party of big government and spending deficits – the Democrat Party – to cling to the mantle of fiscal responsibility simply because Washington Republicans blew it with twelve years of exploding earmarks and spending sprees. We have to offer an alternative. While we hope that the national Democrats’ left of liberal agenda will swing the next election back our direction, the other side is planning and plotting to further consolidate their gains. Just days after the 2008 election, the Los Angles Times ran a story that TEXAS is next in their sites [sic] – yes, the most Republican large state in the country. The Obama organization is not to be under-estimated. They are already organizing for 2010 in Texas. They believe if they can turn Texas blue it will be an electoral obituary for the Reagan Revolution. I am determined, even if Texas becomes the last reservoir of red state governance, to chart a course to fiscal conservatism that serves as a steep contrast to the profligate spending of the Democrat-controlled federal government. I write to you today to ask for your help in keeping the conservative movement alive. The Reagan Revolution started about as far away from Washington as you can imagine – in a governor’s office in Sacramento, California. That’s because conservative change always emanates from outside Washington. I lead a state that, at least culturally, is about as far away from Washington as any state in the nation. We have no personal income tax. We have a budget surplus because we made difficult spending cuts. We balance our budget and we live every day under the duress of an unsecured international border. And in a recent twelve month period, we created half of all the new jobs in America. The Texas Experiment in consistent conservatism continues to work while others stray further from the Reagan principles of leadership during this time of great economic turmoil. I ask you today to help me keep Texas as the largest red state in the nation – the anchor foothold for the cause of conservatism. Will you contribute $10, $25, or $50 today to my campaign for re-election by visiting by website? We’re not just battling the Democrats’ liberal vision for America, but some within our midst who want to chart a course that is Democrat Lite – Republican in name, Democrat in priorities. [emphasis added] Will you help me restore political conservatism in America to its core values? Will you join me in ceding no ground to the liberals who would rather placate their core constituencies, and dictate to working families? Our party is the party of optimism… the party of freedom… the party of innovation and opportunity. Join me in moving America back to the high ground of true conservatism so we can lead our nation down the pathway to prosperity. Sincerely, Rick Perry Governor of Texas P.S. – Please contribute by December 13th so we can rebuild a resurgent, conservative Republican Party in America, starting with our nation’s largest conservative state. Thank you. * * * * We are only a week into Hutchison’s challenge of Perry and already, with the Dick Armey endorsement for Hutchison and his defense of her conservative credentials, and the Perry fundraising letter with its thinly veiled accusation that Hutchison lacks ideological purity, the race is already undergoing climate change.
Politics & Policy