I had a conversation with John Sharp this afternoon. Sharp said that White’s first preference has always been to run for governor. What had kept him out of the governor’s race was the prospect that Hutchison would win the primary, leaving White to face the most popular figure in Texas politics, which she was, by a large margin, a year ago. As the Hutchison campaign began to implode and suffer from intellectual paralysis in the late summer and throughout the fall, everyone, including the White team, began to wonder whether the campaign could possibly be this bad. If there was any life to the Hutchison candidacy, it would appear in her first media spot. The spot, of course, turned out to be an utter disaster: no sign of intelligent life here. That was Friday. I don’t think it was any coincidence that, before the sun had set, White had moved his chief of staff to his campaign staff. Without Hutchison as a threat, the decision to run for governor was an easy one.
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