I LOVE Kinky Friedman
And when you look at things, he just might be able to pull out a victory.
Go to his website
if you dont' know who he is.
Basically, he's a cigar smoking, whisky drinking, country music singing (his band is called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys), mystery novel writing, larger than life, Texan. And he's running for Governor.
His two campaign slogans are:
1. Why the Hell Not?
2. How hard can it be?
He is also one of the most honest, straight talking, and natural people who have ever run for any office.
So there are five candidates running for Governor of Texas. Incumbent Republicanazi Rick "Great Hair" Perry, Democrat Chris Bell, Indepent Carole Stayhorn, Independent Kinky Friedman, and the Libertarian who I'm sure has a name and is a nice guy but I can't remember it and don't really want to look it up right now.
There is every reason to believe that the winner will clock in under at 50% (that's why I included the Libertarian; in a race this close a canned ham could make a difference).
Bell has the personality of a skin disease, but could easily pull 15% just from straight party voters that are confused by all the other names on the ballot. Let's give 2% to the Lib.
Strayhorn is known around the state and if she raises enough money she could draw up at least 18%. Some newspaper polls (not very reliable, but hey why not) show Kinky in second place to Perry; so let's roll with that and say that Kinky pulls at least 25%. That gives the election to Perry with a wopping FORTY percent.
These are quick numbers, but I think they're fairly realistic. Lots of people will automatically vote for Bell because he's a Dem; a few will automatically vote for the Lib because he's a Lib.
It's hard to judge support for Kinky and Strayhorn, but they are reaching lots of voters, getting lots of press, and starting to raise lots of money (last time I checked, that's all you need to run a competitive race).
Lots of people in Texas are fed up with both parties. Liberals hate the weakness of the Texas Democratic Party; an increasing number of Republicans are tired of the extremity of the State Party, and the general incompetence of the National Party.
Perry still has to be considered the favorite to win, but the state is ready to vote for someone different, someone weird, someone a hell of a lot like Kinky Friedman.
He's probably the most liberal candidate running for any position anywhere in the country, but he presents it in such a common sensical way that conservatives find themselves agreeing with him. He appeals to everyone, and he is beginning to actually present ideas.
There are lots of questions here obviously: 1. People laugh, but will they vote for him? 2. Will very serious people vote for someone insane? 3. Will he be able to raise any money or outside support from those that matter? 4. Won't people who think they'll vote for him just panic in the booth and vote for a more traditional candidate?
These are all the same questions asked about Ned Lamont, Arnold and Jesse Ventura. Of course they were also the questions asked about Howard Dean, Ross Perot and George McGovern--we know how those turned out.
Stay tuned for more on Kinky...
Read the Comments to discover 1. Why I'm Wrong About Kinky and 2. Why Kinky Isn't A Liberal.