"Until three years ago, the Texas Democratic Party was just brain-dead and prostrate. They were beaten down. During the Bush years, people wouldn't even admit to being Democrats in Texas. Now they're up on their hind legs, feeling confident. It's the Republicans who are sullen and downcast."
-- On the resurgence of the Democratic Party on Texas, July 21, 2008
"Circumstances are certainly improving for the Democrats." Cal Jillson said if Democrats win some county and legislative victories this November, they may become competitive for statewide offices in the coming decade.
— On Texas Democrats' hope that Obama will lift their political fortunes, July 17, 2008
"The odds of that are slim to none (that the next president will influence housing prices)." If the next president can make people more optimistic about the future, "the slow rebuilding of confidence will help to increase home values."
— On whether home foreclosures can be stopped by the next president, July 7, 2008.
"All of the candidates are being generally supportive of Bush in his positions, but none want his imprimatur. That suggests if he were to toss his endorsement out there, they would scatter. No one would dive on it."
— On President Bush not endorsing anyone in the primaries, Jan. 7, 2008.
"[The Texas Restoration Project] is
trying to enjoy the protections of being religious leaders and representing
tax-exempt institutions, but acting as a political interest group. I
think their principal responsibility is transparency, and that is
to be sure people know who they are, where their money is coming
from and how they use it."
— On the voter-registration efforts of Texas preachers' groups, Nov. 3, 2005
"The question of whether (poverty) is sufficient [as a campaign
issue] is answered with the question ... 'When
is the last time you saw John Edwards on the evening news?' I
think the answer is, 'It's been awhile."'
— On Edwards' possible 2008 presidential ambitions, Oct. 9, 2005
"This is the biggest potential shake-up in Texas politics. When
a very senior position, particularly a Senate seat, opens up, every
other politician statewide sees an opportunity to move up, and that's
what is happening here."
— On a possible Kay Bailey Hutchison gubernatorial run, May 25, 2005
"Governor Perry and his people are just not as good as Bush
and Rove. Governor Perry knows the steps,
but he's got no rhythm."
— On Rick Perry's re-election strategy, June 10, 2005
"McCain is a Republican nominee who has to appeal to the base but he is much queasier on social issues with the exception of abortion. He is much less confrontational on things like gay marriage."
— On the issue of gay marriage, June 19, 2008.
Cindy (McCain) falls under the "classic mould" and has her own version of the "Nancy Reagan stare," the adoring gaze that the former first lady perfected. "If you look at Michelle Obama, it appears that throughout their married life, she and her husband have been very much equals."
— On the wives of the presidential candidates, June 15, 2008.
"She (Hillary Rodham Clinton) certainly faces an Alamo moment in Texas and Ohio. This was a significant win for Obama, because it was 17 points and he cut into her base. If that continues in Ohio and Texas, she will be done."
— On Clinton's need to do well in Texas, Feb. 20, 2008.
"Even if [Bush] did show up [for jury duty], almost certainly
he -- like
senators and other high-profile people -- would
be struck during voir dire [the
process by which attorneys determine whether prospective jurors can
weigh the evidence objectively]. ...From
all we know about Bush, once he gets an opinion about something,
it's there for good. There's no changing it."
— On George W. Bush's rescheduling of his Texas jury service, Jan. 9, 2006
"His legacy as a two-term president of the United States hinges
on bringing an acceptable stability – no
one's talking Jeffersonian democracy – but
an acceptable stability in Iraq. He
really can't back off that, no matter what his Republican members
of Congress think they need."
— On the Bush Administration's defense of the Iraq War, Nov. 17, 2005
"This is a vastly different deal for a person who left her
job as a reporter in Fort Worth to go into working with George W.
Bush and crafting his message. Here, you're
asking for Karen Hughes's ear to be tuned to the European, Middle
Eastern, African, and Asian publics. Nothing suggests to me that
she has the background to know how to shape the message with nearly
the facility she had in tuning [Bush's] message for the American
— On improving America's image abroad, March 16, 2005
Clinton is "very clearly the establishment candidate ... and will not be able to shed the label of the establishment candidate."
— On Clinton's attempt to cast herself as the underdog in the race against Obama, Feb. 10, 2008.
"I think Texans are somewhat underinvested in this campaign because there’s not a Texan on the ballot, or, for Republicans, a Republican they are not very excited about. Texans have been ambivalent through the campaign. . . . Republicans will have to work hard to match the enthusiasm on the Democrats’ side."
— On Texans' financial support for the Presidential campaigns, July 28, 2008.
"For major-league skullduggery, you always have a cost, but simply playing politics and holding information back? Voters don't change their mind on unresolved issues." . . . "A lot of Americans understand how devastating cancer can be (for McCain). If cancer concerns became more prominent, that could do him a lot of damage."
— On candidates withholding personal information, March 26, 2008.
"There's a great deal of concern out there in the public, particularly among the middle class and working class, that things are getting tighter. Everybody wants to get on board quickly and get money into the hands of people so they can get credit for it."
— On the political implications of the economic stimulus package, Feb. 4, 2008.
council just broke and ran over the last couple of weeks, and that
led voters to say, 'If you're not confident in this, neither are
we.' The council's erratic behavior
has engendered doubt in Dallas voters."
— On the defeat of Dallas' strong-mayor initiative, Nov. 9, 2005
"DeLay wants to treat it as a political fight rather than a
— On Tom DeLay's Texas indictments, Oct. 18, 2005
of limited the impact in Texas politics to the environmental. It
affects the way people think about the Republicans' practice of
politics in Texas. If the speaker or sitting members had been indicted,
that would have produced a much stronger backlash against Republicans.''
— On the lack of charges against Texas state political figures and the impact of the Tom DeLay scandal, Oct. 2, 2005
will] embolden those
who are baying at his heels in Washington. These
are DeLay's organizations. It is
not possible from a political perspective – even
if it is from a legal perspective – to separate DeLay from this."
— On a Texas judge's ruling that Tom DeLay's fundraising operation received illegal campaign contributions, May 27, 2005
"[Sam] Brownback is trying to lock
up the social conservative wing of the party,
so he felt that he needed to come out strong on this one."
— On Harriet Miers' Supreme Court nomination, Oct. 6, 2005
"If [Bush] is
going to go out on the campaign trail, which he clearly wants to
do, he has to argue that the war, although messier than expected,
is going to be a success in the long term. His only alternative is
lock himself in the White House and not come out. He can't do that.
He's got three years to go."
— On the 2006 mid-term elections, Dec. 10, 2005
"[Bush Administration officials]
are very loath to reconsider actions in the wake of the Sept. 11
message is, the President never approved of torture, but the question
is, did you play with the definition so that almost nothing qualified
— On U.S. interrogation practices concerning non-U.S. citizens, Jan. 26, 2005
"Roberts can't be blocked. This is a mainstream, pro-business
conservative, not a social jihad warrior. A filibuster just wouldn't
resonate with the public."
— On John Roberts' Supreme Court confirmation hearings, July 21, 2005
"The Bush administration is in significant difficulty, and the leading
figures in both the House and the Senate are in significant difficulty. All
of these difficulties are going to go on. ...People
have real reservations about the Republicans, but they aren't clear
what the Democrats stand for. There is
a widely perceived general disarray in the Democratic Party. It's
too early yet for a leader to emerge."
— On the GOP's White House woes, Oct. 30, 2005
And the winner is...
...President Bush? Well, yes, of course he won that election three months ago, but a common theme in the news coverage of the Iraqi election is that it is a victory for the American president. "Analysts: Bush Could Be Big Winner of Iraq Election" reads the headline of a Reuters dispatch:
President Bush, who has seen Iraq erupt in almost daily violence in recent months, could emerge as a big victor of Iraqi elections that could shore up his position both at home and abroad, analysts said on Monday.
"In the short term, this is very good for an administration just beginning its second term," said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
"[Texas] is still Bush country. Republicans
in Texas have nowhere to go. They have to support the president and
the Texas administration in Washington. These are their guys, their
policies taken to the national level."
— On Texas senators' support of the Bush Administration, Oct. 25, 2005
"[Texans] sometimes value people who
will get in the way of government and slow it down to question, to
prod and sometimes steer for the ditch rather than down the center
lane. [Paul] doesn't work the mechanism
and play the game. He is the guy sticking
the broom in the spokes. There are enough people in his district, the
old and the new, who know who Ron Paul is in the context of American
politics and think that's fine."
— On libertarian-leaning Texas Republican Ron Paul, May 21, 2005
"It's hard to take Tom DeLay at his word that he has a nonpolitical
reason for doing things. All of us who watch
Tom DeLay closely know that Tom DeLay is always looking to push the
issues that have the sharpest angles for his Republican base."
— On the Congressional response to the Terri Schiavo case, March 22, 2005
Having started this ball rolling, he needs to get something
accomplished. If not, there will be more blood in the water that attracts
[Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton] Strayhorn and a possible re-election
challenge in 2006.
— On Texas Gov. Rick Perrys legislative record, May 17, 2004
The choice of Boston is a choice to meet in the heartland of
the Democratic Party.
— On the future of the Democratic Party, Nov. 9, 2003
Nader is not a person people look to govern but one to articulate
— On the Nader 2000 campaign, Oct. 24, 2000
This is a tortoise-and-hare race, with Ron Kirk being the hare,
spurting out, sometimes catching, becoming even, which in Texas, was
really astounding, much better than he was thought to do.
— On the Texas Governors race and the Democratic challenger, Oct. 24, 2002