The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sharp for Guv?

Karl-T over at BOR is writing that John Sharp will be a candidate for Governor.

Through the grapevine of tech people and political consultants, BOR now feels comfortable filing this initial report that John Sharp, former candidate for Lt. Governor against Dewhurst in 2002, will be entering the race for Governor against Perry. Word from our source has it that a "key Texas consultant has offered his endorsement of Sharp for Governor, an action this particular consultant wouldn't do unless there was a campaign and they were on board with it."

Which consultant, no idea, but if I had a guess I'd go with Kelly Fero. Or maybe that's too conventional of a pick. Either way, Karl-T has this to say about the possible primary battle:

If true, the question will soon become, for whom the Bell tolls? I see a primary battle as slightly pointless and one that will inevitably become a progressive grassroots v. establishment powerbrokers battle that will leave our Party wedged, if not the eventual candidate damaged.

While new BOR writer Damon McCullar has this to add:

If we're going to run a reform campaign against Perry and the Republican establishment, we need a real reform candidate, not our own version of the same establishment figure.

And with that show across the bow, the attempt to transmogrify John Sharp into Rick Perry has begun.

I think Greg Wythe gets it right:

The unfortunate side effect of a Sharp v Bell race is that the left side of Texas Democrats now have a horse to ride to make their case against Sharp known. Not that Bell is a perfect ideological match for them, but he has the all important benefit of not being John Sharp to the Texas Observer crowd. That's going to lead to a lot of unfair criticisms of Sharp's ideology and I hope the Bell campaign avoids piling on. There's a case to be made for new voices in the Democratic Party. There's a case to be made for unraveling the layers of corruption that the state GOP has smothered the prospect of good government with. If that's not enough to win the Democratic nomination, then what good is it?

I've been a fan of Sharp's since his time as Controller. I still have a place in my heart for the world of good he did Texas in his time there. We've never had a Controller as good as John Sharp. While Sharp would make a good Governor in his own right, the time is past for him to claim the mantle as one to make the best case for returning Democrats to power. We still need a candidate for Lt. Governor ... we still need a candidate for Controller for that matter. If Sharp ran for either, you'd never hear a peep out of a Texas liberal about Sharp's conservatism. If Charlie Stenholm were to announce for Ag Commish, you'd see a host of Texas liberals lining up to thank him for stepping up to the plate. So why bash Sharp on something you'd have no problem with for another statewide office? Keep the criticisms relevant, folks. We've got far bigger battles ahead.

It's always struck me as bizarre that a grassroots campaign is automatically equated with progressivism. I mean, the Christian Right is the grassroots ideal that the Democratic party should strive for. And they're the anti-thesis of progressivism. And as far as ideology goes, I've got an ultra-liberal Houstonian (how liberal? he uses terms like, 'centrist' and 'moderate' as epithets) friend of mine who wretches whenever Chris Bell's name is mentioned. Something about running campaigns back home on a 'family values' theme. If this changes into a ABS (Anybody But Sharp) campaign, then have we really learned from our '04 mistakes? Winning elections? Since 1968, every President we've had has lost at least one election. Put that in your pipe and smoke it for awhile.

We've got one exploratory campaign for Gov, rumors of a 2nd Dem candidate hopping into that race, a Senate candidate, a AG candidate... and that's all. Shouldn't all of this typing energy be wasted on wondering where the hell the rest of our statewide candidates are? Where's our Lite Guv, aka the most powerful man in Texas gov't not named Tom Craddick, candidate? Our Ag Commish? Or our Comptroller candidate, which I may remind you will most likely be the only open statewide seat? Where's Max Sandlin, Martin Frost, Charlie Stenholm, or Jim Turner? The state of Texas is less Republican than the re-districted seats you all ran for last year.

For now, let's at least be happy that we've got the possibility of two eminently qualified persons running for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

Oh, and one more thing, John Sharp and every WD-40 congressmen that Perry & Co. re-districted a couple of years ago are smart, politically savvy peeps. If they really wanted to, they would've switched parties like, 20 years ago. It would've been the politically expedient thing to do. Hell, it would've saved their jobs, and kept them from having to expend so much energy and money trying to protect their seats every X number of years. The fact that they didn't join such bastions of character and integrity like Phil Gramm, Rick Perry, Carole Keeton Rylander Strayhorn, and everyone else who did should tell you something about them. So quit the effin' crap about them leavin'- or you throwing them from- our party. I swear if I didn't know better, I'd wager some of y'all were related to Stephen Moore and Grover Norquist.