Texas Photo Finish: Why Bill White Will Lose on Tuesday

When Gov. Rick Perry (an Aggie) defeats Democratic nominee Bill White (who may have had questionable help from struggling UT) on Tuesday to win his third full term at the top of Texas' government, postmortems on the Great White Hope campaign will begin.  The Democrats pinned their hopes on White as their best chance to win since the last time they won the slot, 20 years ago when Ann Richards defeated Clayton Williams. Big name Democrats have been coming to Texas for the past few years to meet with White and prime him to be their savior here, as the Perry camp lampooned in this web ad that hit the streets this week:

Those meetings and his policies show Bill White to be the liberal that he has claimed not to be, for the purposes of having a chance to win in Texas.  And that liberal record is a major part of why White will lose.  But when the deeper postmortems begin, they should begin with this photo, which appeared today in the El Paso Times.

Note the headline -- the candidate is "jogging."  Now take a good look at his footwear. Granted this is Texas, and granted we have interesting wildlife-like rattlesnakes and copperheads in these parts, but who in their right mind jogs in cowboy boots? Rick Perry is an agile campaigner, arguably the most talented campaigner Texas has ever produced (Texas' Wiliest Politician Award will always belong to the crooked as a snake LBJ). Perry is also an avid jogger. You're not going to catch up to Rick Perry by jogging in boots. And if you do, well, he's packing heat.