Republicans gut shoot Sanchez and Democrats
The long awaited announcement by Tony Sanchez that he is officially a candidate for governor along with his three day Dog and Pony Show around the state was almost completely short circuited by the Republicans. Phil Gramm, knowing months ago that he was going to leave the Senate, held the announcement until the man the Republicans most feared to run for his seat, the man with the big bucks to do it, the darling of the Democrats, the puppet of Ben Barnes, the one and only Tony Sanchez, committed to the governor's race. This was Republican payback for its turncoats. This was a slap in the face of the Democrats. This was one of the most subtle and beautifully executed political coups you will ever see. Phil Gramm's announcement covered up all the potential press that the Big Tony Dog and Pony Show was going to get.
This was a prime example of how little George won the White House and how Rick Perry chewed up John Sharp in the lt. governor's race in 1998. And this should be a reminder to the Democrats that the road to recovery is going to be very hard fought. There is no doubt that uncle Phil's move was a harbinger of Republican things to come.
I suggested last week that Tony run for the Senate. But no, the powers that be could not see the freight train coming down the track. They could not see the Republicans waiting in ambush. Poor Tony was gut shot as soon as he finally stood up. And the Democrats were so focused on a Hispanic candidate for governor and Tony was so focused on being the first Hispanic governor to prove there is no racism in Texas, that they could not see the bigger prize; a Hispanic with a real chance of breaking the color barrier in the most exclusive white man's club in the world; The United States Senate.
And what about that poll that also came out yesterday and showed that Rick Perry had a 53% to 23% lead over Tony (only 6% more than WorldPeace by the way) in the race for governor and the fact that Perry had 37% of the Hispanic vote compared to Big Tony's 41%? Looks like the Hispanics are still aligned about 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats. So what about that theory of a Hispanic bringing all those Hispanic Democrats to the polls to shift the down ballot races statewide. Well, it was a bad theory dreamed up by Ben Barnes and company. And I think that Tony and the whole Democratic Party in Texas is about to die of that theory.
And guess what is coming. Phil Gramm will probably leave the Senate early to take over A & M and the Republican devil Rick Perry is going to appoint Tony Garza to fill his seat. This will swing a whole lot of votes Rick's way come November. It will put an incumbent in the Senate race. It will put a Hispanic in the Senate. And it would have gotten the state used to the idea of a Hispanic Senator so that Big Tony could use his big bucks to unseat a Hispanic as opposed to the harder job of unseating a White guy. Too bad Tony did not look at the whole political landscape as opposed to just the governor's mansion.
So what now? Well, David Dewhurst, the only Republican with the real money to buy Phil's seat, will step into the race and win it. No one will be able to match his bucks and his determination. Only Big Tony and his puppeteers could have attempted that. Rick Perry gets Hispanic votes because he cares about Hispanics as demonstrated by his appointment of Tony Garza . No one will see that old Tricky Rick knows that Tony Garza does not have enough money to take on Dewhurst and Tony Garza will only keep Phil's seat warm for a few months.
There is only one way out. Tony Sanchez must immediately leave the governor's race and move into the Senate race. He will look stupid and indecisive for a while but his slick ad people should be able to hide that. If they can hide all Tony's other negative baggage (death threat letter, laundering drug money, being a Republican) then they can certainly explain away his "governor candidate for a day fiasco".
Did anyone ever think that if Big Tony had stayed true to his Republican buddies and not become a turncoat that it might be him that Rick Perry would appoint as Senator and with all his money he could have held on to Phil's seat. Oh well, Ben Barnes is a silver tongue devil. But no one remembered that old Ben self destructed decades ago for the same reasons that his schemes still somehow go bad.
So stay tuned. Will Tony switch to the Senate race? Will Tony bounce around in the governor's race, only to lose in March? Is Tony afraid of Dewhurst? Does Tony have to spend another million dollars to figure out what he really wants to do?
My bet is that when Dewhurst gets into the Senate race, everyone else will settle back down and wait to see if Tony takes the big step and tries to match his bigger bucks against Dewhurst's. I think everyone would like to see a $200 million race for the Senate. No where else but Texas folks. No where else but Texas. This is all too interesting for anyone to be bothered with the larger issue of campaign finance reform; with the larger issue that we are not tired of the best politicians that money can buy.
And in closing, I would like to have a moment of silence for the Black voters who are no longer riding in the back of the bus. They are now off the bus watching the Hispanic parade go by. And only WorldPeace, with his commitment to take down the Confederate Flag, has actually reserved them a place on his political bandwagon along with the Hispanics and the largest disenfranchised group of all; women.
Next November, there will be a white governor elect, a white lt. governor elect and a white senator elect and everything will return to the way it was unless WorldPeace becomes governor: The Hispanics will be forgotten because it will become obvious that they are evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. The Blacks will be discounted because they never figured out how to hold on to the power that King gave them. And the women will have missed their chance to elect the most democratic man on the planet to the governor's office: John WorldPeace.
The next governor of Texas
September 5, 2001