Monday, January 02, 2006

My Mother the Governor?

White House press secretary Scott McClellan has spent a lot of time lately trying to convey the Bush administration's position on a number of, shall we say, dubious situations. Unquestionably, he has had his work cut out for him.

Another member of the McClellan family will have her work cut out for her, too. That would be Scott McClellan's mother, Carol Keeton Strayhorn, who has just thrown her hat in the ring as an Independent candidate running for Texas governor.

Currently the Texas state comptroller and a Republican, Strayhorn has engaged in a running war of words with Texas' Republican governor, Rick Perry. There's not much love lost between the two. In fact, the mutual dislike is almost palpable.

Feeling that she would have a difficult time winning the Republican nomination against Perry in the March primary, Strayhorn's running as an Independent would give her more time to forge a strong campaign against Perry prior to the election next fall. Perry currently enjoys a double-digit lead in the polls.

Strayhorn has been a longtime fixture on the Texas political scene, having run for and served in several statewide elected offices and as mayor of Austin over the last two decades. She's perhaps best known for her unusual campaign theme: "One tough grandma!"

Governor Perry is known as a protege of George W. Bush, having followed him into Texas' chief executive suite after Bush ran for and won the U.S. presidency in 2000. Will Bush lend his support to Perry or to the mother of his press secretary? My money is on Perry. After all, McClellan probably won't be around as press secretary too much longer. One person can dance around the media's increasingly bold questioning for only so long.

As a Texas resident, my hope is that Strayhorn can siphon off enough Republican votes from Rick Perry to give the Democratic candidate (still TBD) a chance at winning the election. To that possibility I say, "You go, Grandma!"


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