As I noted earlier, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has given her first real indication she will be stepping down from the U.S. Senate in order to run in the March Primary against incumbent Governor Rick Perry:
"I had hoped that he wouldn't. You know, no one expected him to run again. And I thought, you know I stepped back last time, Mark. I tried to give him a, really a free ride with no primary because I thought it was right for Texas. But, for him to try to stay on for 15 years is too long."
A few questions come to mind. The most immediate is that Senator Hutchison has been in the Senate for 16 years since winning a special election in 1993 (for which she pledged only to run two terms) -- and now she is saying Perry's decision to run for re-election is bad ... is that hypocritical on her part?
Secondly, the line,"tried to give him a really free ride," sounds as if she believes it is her right to designate who should or should not be the GOP's gubernatorial candidate.
Lastly, is her timing good? Texas has been praised recently as a model of effective government. Meanwhile, Hutchison is abandoning a safe senate seat when Democrats already have 60 seats. Is this really the right milieu from which to challenge a sitting governor?
These questions will surely continue to come up as the campaign moves forward.