Weak Democratic Primary Round Up

It's sadly typical of Democrats that, in an election that could be won by highlighting the failures of the Republican leadership, we can't seem to dredge up a leader of our own.

There's been some fall-out this week from Sen. Leticia Van de Putte deciding not to run for Governor. After the initial support she garnered on many sites (including my own), her decision to hand the baton over to someone else has taken the air out of some Democrats hoping for options beyond Schieffer and Kinky. Most bloggers are still wary of Tom Schieffer, while either completely ignoring or being frustrated by Kinky Friedman and Mark Thompson.

Everyone's favorite kid blogger on a bike, Karl Thomas Musselman, had some strong words on the state of the Governor's Race on BOR.
It's unsettling when the only emotions I feel of any kind in the Governor's race are negative, and directed towards Kinky Friedman.
Phillip Martin, who appears to be headed back to Texas to get in on the 2010 fun, also seemed disappointed on BOR, writing Some Quick Notes on Tom Schieffer:
It seems that Democrats can take Schieffer as a candidate or shove it.
Marc Campos, of Campos Communications, wants to know who will excite the base:
Senator Van de Putte says that Schieffer isn’t exciting the Dem base. Can Sen. Watson excite the base?

As long as the frontline of Lone Star statewide Dems candidates is made up of Anglo fellas, I don’t see a scenario where the Dem base gets revved up – sorry – no se puede.
McBlogger describes his frustrations with the Democratic primary runners as only he can (and as the mainstream media cannot):
Texas Democrats deserve a whole lot better and so do the down ballot candidates. It's time for those who choose to run (don't act like you're doing us a goddamn favor) to straighten the fuck up and run like real people who are serious about doing a good job for their fellow Texans.
Judith Ford, of Castle Hills Democrats, attended a Denton County fish fry that Schieffer spoke at and got the crowd's feedback on him:
[T]he Dems in the crowd are wary of Tom Schieffer, who gives off a George W. Bush smell. That may be one "friendship" that served Tom well in the 90's and 2000's, but comes back to haunt him in a big, not-so-good way.
Greg Wythe, of Greg's Opinion, referred to Schieffer as "Captain Gloomy."
...[O]ne should really refrain from references to "road to disaster" before launching a statewide roadshow announcing your campaign for public office.
In perhaps a more nuanced way, Charles Kuffner also thinks Schieffer should accentuate the positive:
My advice, for what it's worth, is that it would probably be best for Schieffer to focus more on the things we can and will achieve with him than on the things we can't.
South Texas Chisme seemed more than a little agitated by Schieffer's friendship with George W. Bush:
Tom Schieffer explains his vote for George Bush. Oh, wait. NOTHING can adequately explain votes for George Bush. Seriously. If he had a single brain cell, he would have known better than to vote for him.
It's worth noting that Eye On Williamson took a more moderate approach to Schieffer announcing his run for Governor:
Democrats should be willing to give Schieffer a chance and as he said, “There’s a long time between now and March."
But even the mainstream media seemed skeptical this week, further emphasizing the problems that occur when a Democratic base rejects its available options (Kerry '04, anyone?).

Paul Burka asks "Can Kirk Watson win?" while touching on a much broader recurring theme and important question -- can any Democrat?

Q. Is the party infrastructure capable of sustaining a major statewide campaign?

A. The potential exists, but there are too many fiefdoms: the Lone Star Project, the state House and Senate Democratic caucuses, Austin trial lawyers, Houston trial lawyers, labor, and the party itself. “You can’t send out a press release without six people wanting to rewrite it,” a senior Democratic strategist told me. The party should provide the message.
Even the Statesman's Gardner Selby pointed out five ways Schieffer could epically fail (only five?):
To solidify standing as the front-runner for his party’s nomination, however, he needs to make inroads with activists who jumped into passing leaflets and nudging neighbors during last year’s not-going-to-happen-ever-again Democratic presidential primary; it’s those troops (thousands of them) who are both eager and wizened enough to want to get involved afresh—for the right candidate. But I suspect it’ll take a cutting-edge crew of them to get others signed on with Schieffer.
There is, indeed, a long time between now and March.


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