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TX-Gov: Schieffer Out, White (Likely) In

Former Ambassador Tom Schieffer's (D) decision to leave the Texas governor's race leaves a gaping hole for an establishment candidate, a space many people expect Houston Mayor Bill White to fill.

Schieffer, the brother of "Face the Nation" host and all-around-great-guy Bob Schieffer is expected to leave the contest later today, according to a report in the Texas Tribune.

And, according to a source familiar with White's thinking, the Mayor, who is currently running for the not-yet-open seat held by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), will announce whether he will switch races as soon as tomorrow. The expectation is that he will make the switch although no one with intimate knowledge of White's thinking appears to be talking.

If White does run for governor, he gives Democrats a credible candidate who would be positioned to benefit from what is already a very nasty primary fight between Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry. (The Perry-KBH race is the number one ranked contest on the Fix's Line of the best primaries in the country in 2010.)

Democrats, who have been decimated in the state over the past decade, have long seen the 2010 governor's race as their best chance to re-establish a foothold in Texas politics.

The state's growing Hispanic population -- and that group's strong move to the Democratic party in 2008 -- give the party reason to hope as does the fact that White is a known commodity in the state's largest (and most expensive) media market. White has also shown a capacity for raising money -- he ended September with more than $4 million in the bank, all of which could be transferred to a gubernatorial race.

Of course, Texas has become a Republican stronghold in recent years -- the party controls both Senate seats, 20 of the 32 House seats and every statewide office -- and either Perry or Hutchison would be favored against White in a general election.

With Hutchison delaying her resignation until after the March 2 primary (if at all), White may well see the governor's race as a more attractive option and make the leap. If he does, former state Comptroller John Sharp will be the almost-certain Democratic nominee if and when KBH steps aside -- a prospect, for the record, which we remain very skeptical about.

If White does make the switch he is rightly regarded as an "A" level candidate and something of a recruiting coup for the Democratic Governors Association.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 23, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

Of those four states Texas is the indisputable hellhole of the bunch.

You can listen to the radio all across the other three and never once hear an excited announcer tellin' y't' COME OWN DOWN to ERNIE'S DISCANT WAREHOUSE an' lookita MILLION DOLLARS WORTHA HANGUNS.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 24, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

NY, CA and MA are hardly hell holes, Texas. Don't go throwing your ill-informed prejudices around and then getting upset when you get the same right back.

Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Most Americans take pride in American Exceptionalism, others are embarrassed by it.

==

Really?

Name three.

America is one country. We don't have the highest standard of living, we don't have the longest life expectancy, we don't have the best infant mortality rate, we're not all that free, and yessss we can kick anyone's a§§ with our big big big military but that's because we spend more on it than pretty much everyone else put together.

Which I'm sure a nitwit like you regards as a "good thing."

Just ask the Soviets how great it is to burn the seed corn on the military,

Doofus.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't even care what state you live in, gcdude3, but it is a fact that it does not out-contribute Texas in any REAL category in the union of states. I wish I could arrange a one week life without anything from Texas for you. it would even convince a total dunce like you

Posted by: TXSFRED | November 23, 2009 2:48 PM
I'm sure the rest of the states will suffer tremendously at this loss, a price most Americans are becoming more and more willing to pay. Why be hostile it's you that want to leave I just agree with you. Leave .... form your own constitution based upon the Perry ideology. All the luck in the world to you. :)

Posted by: qcdude3 | November 23, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I meet Bill White on Friday night. The vast majority of people in Texas want a new governor. Bill White got 91% of the vote in Houston in the last mayors race. The new Texas Montly has a great profile. Perry has his finger prints all over a very unpopular business tax that causes business that lose money to pay taxes.

I think an effective voting drive in the hispancic community could push him over the line.

Posted by: bradcpa | November 23, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Most Americans take pride in American Exceptionalism, others are embarrassed by it.

Posted by: TexasProud1 "

Actually, most Americans are more interested in BEING the greatest country rather than simply saying it.

American exceptionalism is a wonderful thing.

American Exceptionalism is downright embarrassing.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 23, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

And you know this how? We value something called 'independance' where people carry their own weight.

==

yeah yeah yeah heard this piece of chest-pounding conceit from you guys about a billion times already, thanks.

You'd think that if "independence" really was so important to you, instead of the idle boast that it is, you would at least know how to effin' SPELL it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite

Can you say petty? We've seen what happens when liberalism goes unchecked (NY State and NYC, CA, MA). I don't feel the need for that disease to completely contaminate our federal gov't as well. Hope and Change make for good billboards but mean nothing in terms of leadership. All it does is allow foreign leaders to mock the liberal messiah as nothing more than an adolescent looking for acceptance from the rest of the world's leaders instead of taking charge and doing what is the most fundamental job of a US President which is provide direction. Most Americans take pride in American Exceptionalism, others are embarrassed by it.

Posted by: TexasProud1 | November 23, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Keep your double digit unemployment in your liberal meccas where 9/11 terrorists are given platforms to spouse their anti-american hatred, where make believe jobs are created or saved in congressional districts that don't exist, where state energy boards can now regulate your thermostats and tell you what TV you can purchase, and where your members of congress are all too eager to over our economic sovereignity to the UN in defense of 'global warming' even though the same scientists who have voraciously defended global warming now aren't sure why we aren't continuing to warm, or why 15 years ago they were predicting a global ice age (I guess if one doomsday scenario doesn't work, try the other).

==

That's the longest run-on sentence I can recall reading that wasn't in German. Were you dripping saliva from your chin at the end?

No wonder you guys can't win national elections, no focus.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

And you know this how? We value something called 'independance' where people carry their own weight.

==

yeah yeah yeah heard this piece of chest-pounding conceit from you guys about a billion times already, thanks.

You'd think that if "independence" really was so important to you, instead of the idle boast that it is, you would at least know how to effin' SPELL it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It's not my responsibility to ensure everyone is happy with what they are getting paid, our economy is set up that people who are MOTIVATED to change their situation have the opportunity to

==

yeah yeah yeah don't write serial clichés or anything now .. what a load of bull. Texas is a hostile place for gays and minorities and however much you enjoy sneering your contempt for the non-pale and the non-straight, that kind of hostility correlates very robustly with poor performance.

"Your economy" is set up to favor the bosses and screw the workers, everyone knows it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite

And you know this how? We value something called 'independance' where people carry their own weight. It's a foreign concept for you and others because everything is supposed to be given from an omnipotent government that doesn't just level the playing fields but levels the outcomes as well. Here is a novel concept for you. Businesses have these things called 'jobs' and when the output from one of these 'jobs' outweighs the total costs (salary, insurance, retirement, etc) they make a profit and have the incentive to add more 'jobs'. It's not that complicated. This phobia of one of the few states that hasn't flushed our future down the pipes of hope and change is actually somewhat comical if not pathetic. Keep your double digit unemployment in your liberal meccas where 9/11 terrorists are given platforms to spouse their anti-american hatred, where make believe jobs are created or saved in congressional districts that don't exist, where state energy boards can now regulate your thermostats and tell you what TV you can purchase, and where your members of congress are all too eager to over our economic sovereignity to the UN in defense of 'global warming' even though the same scientists who have voraciously defended global warming now aren't sure why we aren't continuing to warm, or why 15 years ago they were predicting a global ice age (I guess if one doomsday scenario doesn't work, try the other).

Posted by: TexasProud1 | November 23, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

It's not my responsibility to ensure everyone is happy with what they are getting paid, our economy is set up that people who are MOTIVATED to change their situation have the opportunity to

==

yeah yeah yeah don't write serial clichés or anything now .. what a load of bull. Texas is a hostile place for gays and minorities and however much you enjoy sneering your contempt for the non-pale and the non-straight, that kind of hostility correlates very robustly with poor performance.

"Your economy" is set up to favor the bosses and screw the workers, everyone knows it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd be very sad to lose Austin.

Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Friendly to business, hostile to employees. Where are these poor persecuted businesses going to find decent workers in Texas?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite

We have jobs in Texas, especially compared to your more liberal bastions of CA, MA, NY, etc. Employees aren't persecuted here, they have opportunities here, which is a word you and drindl don't seem to understand. It's not my responsibility to ensure everyone is happy with what they are getting paid, our economy is set up that people who are MOTIVATED to change their situation have the opportunity to. I am sick of people portraying themselves as 'victims' because all your wolf crying is doing is keeping the spotlight off true victims.

Posted by: TexasProud1 | November 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"First off, the political winds are blowing at the backs of conservatives, with Perry being, likely, the most conservative governor in the nation."

Yeah, that's why they lost in NY-23 and Chris Christie and Donnelly both ran as moderates. Dream on.

What Perry is, is the craziest governor in the nation. But now that 'conservative' has become synonymous with 'batsh*t crazy' I guess you are right.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

By the way, keep raising taxes and 'soak the rich' because all you are going to do is encourage more of your businesses to come here.

==

Friendly to business, hostile to employees. Where are these poor persecuted businesses going to find decent workers in Texas?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could arrange a one week life without anything from Texas for you. it would even convince a total dunce like you

==

How bout you make that retroactive to 2001.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Funny how some people are bashing Texas, when we actually don't have the budget issues liberal bastions such as NY and CA have and we have unemployment at 8%. By the way, keep raising taxes and 'soak the rich' because all you are going to do is encourage more of your businesses to come here. After CA bans the sales of big screens, there is going to be a large influx in sales of big screens in neighboring states being shipped into the Golden State.

Posted by: TexasProud1 | November 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope Texas secedes from the Union and then we can fence it off from the rest of America.

Posted by: qcdude3 | November 23, 2009 1:56 PM
...
I don't even care what state you live in, gcdude3, but it is a fact that it does not out-contribute Texas in any REAL category in the union of states. I wish I could arrange a one week life without anything from Texas for you. it would even convince a total dunce like you

Posted by: TXSFRED | November 23, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope Texas secedes from the Union and then we can fence it off from the rest of America.

==

Might be a little rough on Louisiana but most of the downwind area is the Gulf Coast so the smell of cordite and rotting flesh would be carried out to sea. In any case it wouldn't last long

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Rick Perry is a strict conservative and he's a great fundraiser & campaigner.

==

He's also a secessionist nutjob

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Rick Perry is a strict conservative and he's a great fundraiser & campaigner. He will beat out Hutchinson in the R primary and beat whomever is the Democratic nominee. In my view, White won't risk his political future running for Governor of Texas in 2010 against Perry. That's political suicide and White is smarter than that. First off, the political winds are blowing at the backs of conservatives, with Perry being, likely, the most conservative governor in the nation. Obama & Democrats popularity is going down and Perry has criticized their agenda from day 1. The conditions are not right for White to run, and I don't think he will. Rick Perry is the favorite in the Republican primary and the GE. In Pennsylvania in fact, the Specter vs. Sestek Democratic primary may be worse & bloodier and closer than the Perry vs. KBH primary in Texas.

Posted by: reason5 | November 23, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope Texas secedes from the Union and then we can fence it off from the rest of America.

Posted by: qcdude3 | November 23, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Silver spring,
KBH wants to remain a member of the Union so that makes her a liberal.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 23, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

And the good news for Dems-- which ought to be the Most IMportant Number in Politics Today --10.1%, the number by which existing home sales rose last month, up 23.5% over a year ago.

==

I hope that's mostly homebuyers and not speculators buying up bargains.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"...Current polling has Perry up 46% to Hutchinson's 35%. And that goes to 52-30 of conservatives. ..."

----------------------

Only in Texas would conservatives consider Kay Bailey Hutchison a liberal.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | November 23, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And the good news for Dems-- which ought to be the Most IMportant Number in Politics Today --10.1%, the number by which existing home sales rose last month, up 23.5% over a year ago.

I'm sure wingers will throw a tantrum over this because they want Obama to fail, but it's not going to happen.

"NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Existing home sales surged in October to the highest level in more than 2-1/2 years, according to a real estate industry report issued Monday.

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose 10.1% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.1 million units, up from the downwardly revised rate of 5.54 million in September.

The sales beat forecasts of 5.7 million annual units, according to a consensus estimate of analysts compiled by Briefing.com, and were 23.5% above the 4.94 million-unit pace of 12 months ago.

Sales activity is the highest since February 2007, when the annual rate was 6.55 million.'

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Perry has become a symbol of something, but it isn't about Obama. He's a symbol that corruption and demagoguery are alive and well in Texas and winning the battle over reason and common sense.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There is a reason democrats haven't won a statewide race in 15 years, and next year isn't going to be a banner year like '06 was to run under either. The dems blew their chance in '06 with the tailwind and a weak incumbent. Perry has surprisingly rebounded and has become a symbol of opposition to a very unpopular president in the Lone Star state. KBH has run a rather pathetic primary challenge to the point that i went from a supporter to undecided in the GOP primary. She at least is doing the right thing and not resigning the seat until after the primary so we don't have to pay for a special election and the Texas electorate will be fully represented-and that is why White would switch races because there is no longer the benefit of a special election. Ron Kirk was twice as qualified as White and he got bulldozed by Cornyn, a political novice.

Posted by: TexasProud1 | November 23, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Nice analysis CC, I agree that it looks like the writing is on the wall on this one.
Current polling has Perry up 46% to Hutchinson's 35%. And that goes to 52-30 of conservatives. Not good news for KBH, and really good news for Bill White.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 23, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

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