Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not the last word on Nuge

The national media finally caught up with the past week's story over the weekend (and to start the week).  Progress Texas has a good roundup.  But the last word, for now, goes to the DMN's Tod Robberson.

My guess is that Davis will not suffer long-term damage from relatively minor misstatements regarding her background. But Abbott did himself some serious damage by attaching himself to Nugent, a man who cannot seem to control his mouth and has a penchant for making racist and sexist remarks. There is also, of course, his background of affairs with underage girls and his days as a draft dodger during the Vietnam War. It’s beyond me why Abbott would see Ted Nugent as an admirable figure who would be an asset to his campaign.

But since Abbott hasn’t issued a statement of regret, I guess he’s still OK with the decision. Which means he not only demonstrates bad judgment unworthy of a leading gubernatorial candidate but also lacks the perspective of someone who knows when to stop fighting a losing battle. That’s the kind of hubris that just screams for a humiliating defeat.

Abbott's refusal to distance himself from Nugent is a tremendous, enormous mistake; maybe the biggest one he will make during the entire campaign.  Davis must tar and feather him with the child predator's slurs, and she must do so repeatedly, all the way to November.  How effective she is in pasting Ted Nugent to Greg Abbott will all but determine whether her contest is winnable in the fall.  If she lets it fade into the background...

There remains a huge well of free media still to earn (because Nugent keeps running his vile mouth publicly, and will go on doing so), and the continuing narrative helps Davis significantly with moderates and independents (precisely who she needs voting for her in order to win).  Most importantly, the episode cuts right to heart of Abbott's weakest link: his judgment and his character.

Nugent is a gift that is going to keep on giving, and you don't get too many of those in politics.

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