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The Kay Bailey Comeback

by Published on

Kay Bailey Hutchison has probably had better weeks.

The long-anticipated campaign rollout didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. Observer Editor Bob Moser chronicles the week that was in the gov’s race on his new election blog, Purple Texas. (Also a warm welcome to Melissa del Bosque, our intrepid investigative reporter, who has launched her blog about the Border, La Linea.)

Embry sees some Strayhorn in Hutchison’s recent performances. That’s not a flattering comparison if you’re a Kay supporter.

Meanwhile, Burka has been highly critical of Kay’s campaign. He seems tempted to call the race for Perry, but resists that temptation for the moment. Still, he says he can’t envision how Kay can pull this off.

The emerging conventional wisdom says Perry is wiping the floor with Hutchison. If the conventional wisdom is to be believed, this much-hyped primary might turn into a Perry blowout.

But I don’t buy that for a minute. A Kay comeback lies ahead of us in the coming months.

Campaigns usually have ebbs and flows. While Hutchison seems well behind at the moment, as soon as she gets her act together for a few days, political reporters will be itching to write the Kay Comeback story. Not because they’re biased. It’s just how these things work. Everyone loves a comeback story.

I’m not suggesting the comeback will be a media creation. Hutchison remains plenty dangerous to Perry.

Here are three big reasons she can turn it around: One, it’s August and few voters are paying attention to her foibles. Two, she has a veteran campaign staff and a ton of money — people will hear what she has to say. And three, Perry is vulnerable from both the right (property rights, business tax) and the left (education, health insurance, home insurance).

Come winter time, I bet this will be a tight race.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.