Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lunch with Tom Schieffer

Yesterday our Houston confederation of progressive bloggers -- Charles, Martha, Jaye, Stace, Greg, John, Neil, David and me -- met with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer and his communications director (and former Chron hand) Clay Robison.

While I posted this earlier regarding my opinion of the current standings in the race for governor, I found Schieffer hard not to like personally in our two-hour conversation. He has this little Bush problem, though, and nothing I have heard him say yet enables him to get past it. He's earnest and sincere and has some good ideas about what Texas needs to focus on -- education, economy, health care -- that need some fleshing out as to specifics. He's also not visibly perturbed about being challenged on his Democratic bona fides; in fact seems bemused by it. One remark that he made stood out to me in terms of casting aspersions against a primary rival, and that was, quote: "If Democrats nominate someone that does not scare people ...". I couldn't really place the person this was aimed at. Kinky, perhaps? I don't think Kinky scares anyone at all. Ronnie Earle? Earle would energize a Democratic base like Schieffer never will (of course, he'll also add a little gas to the Republican fire -- if you'll be able to tell from all the other crap they'll be throwing on the flames). Who have Democrats nominated in recent years that "scared" people?

My question to him was a hypothetical -- assuming it was offered, would he welcome a W endorsement of his candidacy in the general election -- that Schieffer deftly brushed aside with "He's not going to endorse me". Fair enough, but will you take a large donation from him? Will you ask him to call his sizable donor list on your behalf -- especially if Perry is once again the GOP nominee? Bush owes you a favor somewhere along the line, in my book.

Greg has posted his thoughts about it here, and David also has his take. Update: Kuffner sees it the same as the rest of us.

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