The question that national party officials and strategists in Texas posed last week was what will be the galvanizing message of Mrs. Hutchison's campaign.
"I'm not quite sure what the narrative is for her candidacy. What's the compelling case that she would be a better governor than Perry?" asked one of these strategists, who did not wish to be identified because of his position in the Republican national party campaign apparatus.
This question seems to be on the minds of a lot of political reporters and observes, who have turned to looking at Hutchison's fundraising appeals in order to discern her campaign narratives.
In a fundraising letter, Senator Hutchison wrote,
"After nearly a decade in office, our governor is not offering a clear vision of how we can solve the issues facing a changing state. And there is a real sense that our leadership in Austin is getting distracted and consumed attempting to clean up the mismanagement problems caused at the governor's agencies. Picking a fight with Washington is not a long-term strategy to move Texas forward."On the other side, Governor Perry wrote,
"I'm fighting for the very Constitution that our Founding Fathers crafted to limit the reach of the federal government in our lives. This campaign is not about personalities but principles. It is about two models of governing - the Washington model that talks the talk about limited government while delivering record earmarks and increasing bureaucratic control, and the Texas model of balanced budgets and fiscal restraint."
Based on the contrast taken from these competing fundraising letters, Republican Primary Voters in Texas will have to decide which message resonates more: Perry's record of job creation and budget surpluses vs. Hutchison's record of voting for the federal bailout and spending time in Washington.
It'll be an interesting race to watch.