speaker's race

Takeaways From the GOP Convention

Jun 13, 2012 By Paul Burka

In reading the last couple of days of convention coverage, I found two key takeaways that have been overlooked: (1) Rick Perry is still very strong with the base of his party. He still connects with the rank and file when he makes a rousing speech, as he did at the…

The race within the race

Feb 25, 2010 By Paul Burka

The reference is to the speaker’s race. What speaker’s race? The story that is going around is that Chisum has been inviting members to his ranch. He has emerged as the most likely candidate of the hardline conservatives, if they decide to put up a fight, but the problem is…

A Suggestion for Straus

Jan 8, 2009 By Paul Burka

Before election day, when it still seemed as if Tom Craddick might win reelection as speaker, Terral Smith told me about what he hoped to do with committee assignments. Rather than use vice-chairmanships as a reward for loyal team members, Smith wanted to replicate the relationship between Rob Eissler and…

Did the Democrats make a mistake? UPDATE

Jan 8, 2009 By Paul Burka

Note to readers: This original post (scroll down below the asterisks) noting the ironies for both parties surrounding the presumed election of Straus as speaker, has kicked up a bit of a furor. I unwittingly blundered into a fierce debate among Democrats. Party people such as Matt Angle think that…

Sore Winners

Jan 6, 2009 By Paul Burka

The worst mistake that the Straus regime can make is to be sore winners. Doesn’t anybody learn anything around here? Craddick was a sore winner. He rubbed the Democrats’ and the ABCs’ noses in the dirt for three sessions. Laney once said, jokingly, that Craddick had done what he could…

The speaker jinx

Jan 5, 2009 By Paul Burka

Add Tom Craddick to the list of speakers whose careers ended for reasons other than their own choosing. Byron Tunnel, 1963, had his sights set on a second term, but was forced out of office by Governor John Connally, who gave him the choice of a soft landing of a…

Smithee’s prospects

Jan 4, 2009 By Paul Burka

The frustrating thing about John Smithee is that he has chosen all his career to perform at 60% of his ability. He has never wanted to get out front, or draw upon all the respect he has earned over the years. One “Dear Colleague” letter from him in the past…