GOVERNOR BATTLE ROYALE
Welcome to your deconstruction, Bill White: National press turns to Perry's foe
National media, meet Bill White.
Now that the clash of the Republican titans has finally run its course in the Texas primary, media outlets are beginning to figure out that there's still a good race shaping up for the Texas governor's mansion this fall.
As CNN notes, "Bald, diminutive and soft-spoken, White offers a stark contrast to the swaggering, movie-star-handsome governor. If Rick Perry is a modern-day conservative cowboy, White is a practical-minded accountant, eager to chat about education funding, balancing budgets and the Public Utility Commission of Texas."
CNN compiled White's list of accomplishments and strengths in the race — fiscally conservative credentials, a non-partisan ethos and a record contribution from the Democratic Governors Association. The network also notes that there's a consensus in Texas that believes White is the best Democratic candidate for governor since Ann Richards in 1994.
But the news outlet is far from convinced of White's victory, ending with a quote from SMU political scientist Cal Jillson: "White is going to lose because Texas is still a Republican state. This is not a good year for Democrats. In a different year he might have an outside chance, but I think he probably loses by five to 10 points."
The New York Times also looked at the race shaping up, describing White's campaign as "the gambit in what promises to be an uphill battle against an entrenched incumbent whose party has enjoyed a 10-point advantage in statewide races for more than a decade."
After quoting White admitting he is an underdog, the Times turns to a pair of political scientists parsing the path to victory for each candidate.
“White has got to make a case to fire Rick Perry, to show he’s somehow been negligent, incompetent, corrupt, etc.,” said Daron Shaw of the University of Texas, while David Carney, a political consultant who has worked on Perry’s message, told the Times that "the governor will emphasize Mr. White’s ties to Mr. Obama, whom he supported and advised, and to President Bill Clinton, under whom he served as deputy secretary of energy."
Looks like an interesting race – we can't wait 'til Stephen Colbert puts his two cents in.