The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

John Sharp: Cutting Bait

From the Express-News:

Gov. Rick Perry named an old friend turned political rival today (Wednesday) to chair a committee that will recommend how Texas can develop a fair and equitable tax system to finance public education.

The governor gave the job to former Texas Comptroller John Sharp. A Democrat, he and Perry, a Republican, ran a heated race for lieutenant governor in 1998, with Perry barely winning.


Sharp, who has been mentioned as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate next year, all but ruled himself out of another political race when he appeared with Perry at today's news confrence.

And while some on the left are jumping up and down, others are realizing this for what its worth- when the Republicans are finished failing, they turn to the Democrats to problem solve.

There's still quite a bit of people out there who may or may not want to be Governor of Texas. The short list? Jim Turner, Charlie Stenholm, Max Sandlin, Steve Wolens, etc. Of course we still don't have candidates for Lt. Governor, Comptroller, Ag Commish, Land Commish or RR Commish. Hows about we flesh those pieces out first before we go out and start the primary fights?

In other gubernatorial news, Kinky Friedman has his first ad up. Just saw it, and it's pretty good. But what's with this guy talking about younger people relating to dogs playing poker?

The ad will likely grab the attention of younger voters, said Jeremiah Cook, 26, of Houston, who viewed the spot soon after it went up on Friedman's website,Γ–

β€œIt made me want to find out more about Kinky,” said Cook, who characterizes himself as a political middle-of-the roader.

The spot starts with Friedman playing poker with a bunch of dogs β€” a friendly scene that younger Texans will appreciate, Cook said.

The way I see it, Kinky's got two problems. Number one, getting on the ballot. It's not a mountain of a problem, but it's going to be pretty tough to do. Number two, actually being a serious candidate- emphasis on serious. Sure it's fun to have a slogan like, "why the hell not" and such, but it's pretty sad when a candidate knows not a thing about tuition deregulation, or that one of the top issues in his bio is outlawing cat declawing. Seriously? Are there not more pressing issues? What happens when the soft/personality pieces start to end and journalists find he's not that knowledgeable on how Texas runs or what is needed to fix what's wrong with Texas? Take, for example, Kinky's interview with Bill Maher. Started off nice, and Kinky got in some good quips, made the audience laugh, etc. But at the end of the interview Maher said something like, "Well and here I was thinking this was a serious candidacy."

Which is exactly Kinky's problem. He's attractive enough to make people ponder voting for him, but when the rubber hits the road, can he get beyond quips and self-deprecating remarks long enough to talk about solutions? Oh, one more thing, Kinky's about as Texan as Dubya is:

Kinky Friedman:

Born in Chicago, Friedman's family moved to a ranch in central Texas during his childhood.

George W.:

He was born in New Haven, Connecticut but grew up in Midland and Houston