While Texas is unlikely to turn blue this November, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama may still be making a few more trips to the Lone Star state now that he has made it official that he is not taking public financing.
Obama's decision to forgo $84 million in public money means he will have to really crank up his already formidable fund-raising machine. And Texas has always been generous to candidates, regardless of party. Indeed, Lone Star donors have showered Obama with far more campaign bucks than the Republican nominee John McCain. According to the Federal Election Commission Obama has raised $7.8 million in Texas compared to $6.3 million for McCain.
Robert Gibbs, Obama's communications director who spoke to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thursday, indicated that the candidate, who has not visited Texas since before the March 4 primary, will be back.
"We'll be down there a lot,'' Gibbs said. But don't expect lots of those big, noisy rallies like the candidate held during the primary season. More likely the drop-ins will consist of discrete private fund-raisers.
Saw this coming after Boyd Richie spurned them prior to his coming-out party as a superdelegate, and they payed him off in full for that by shining his shoes in Austin.
They're even now, and both have cover for pretending to do something to get down-ballot Texas Democrats elected without actually doing much of anything.
With the local consultant class following Texas Monthly's lead and making excuses in advance for Rock Noriega losing to John Cornyn, the circle of defeat is almost complete and we're still two weeks away from the long July 4th weekend.
So here's my five-months-out prediction: Obama will have all the money he could ever need and gets elected the nation's 44th President handily -- over 300 EV. The US Senate and the House of Representatives increase their majorities, the Democratic Senators achieving a near veto-proof count of 58 seats. As in 2006, a big blue wave rolls across the country -- but hits a concrete seawall at the Texas border. Noriega, Nick Lampson, and a handful of Texas House members (such as Juan Garcia) lose, most of our Harris County executive and judicial races are very narrow defeats, "just five more seats in the Texas House" results in three net victories (but Chairman Richie declares victory anyway), Tom Craddick and David Dewhurst jam through Voter ID in 2009, and the battle cry for 2010 from the Texas Democratic Party becomes "focusing on a few, select, targeted races in order to take the Texas House, just in time for redistricting".
(Somebody please prove me wrong. Please.)
And hey: don't forget all those great activities next week.