Friday, June 15, 2007

Hilary Takes Texas

Well, not takes, exactly. A poll suggests that, if the vote were today, Senator Clinton would tie either Senator McCain or Imperator Giuliani . . . in Texas. (Obama doesn't do quite as well).

Andrew Sullivan muses, "I wonder if the Republicans know what is about to hit them." Fair question. After all, as red states go, Texas is pretty damn red. On the other hand, it is (or was) the home of Ann Richards, Molly Ivins, Kinky Friedman and LBJ. So there is a tradition of homegrown Democratic -- even progressive -- sympathy down there.

But there are a couple of considerations. First, let's remember that Clinton isn't really all that progressive, at least not by the standards of Democratic hardliners. She's a smidge to the left of her husband, who basically ended welfare. She lacks his personal magnetism, but like him, she is a committed pragmatist and policy wonk. These are good things, both for running and for governing; but they also put the kibosh on any idea of a sudden liberal upswell in the Lone Star State.

Second, let's be clear about what is driving the poll results. According to The USA Today, "In the poll, nearly two-thirds of Texans said the country was on the wrong track. Four in 10 called the Iraq war the nation's most important problem. One in 10 cited immigration."

In other words, Texans want a solution to the Iraq disaster. They want it four times as badly as they want a new immigration policy. And despite the fact that Obama was out front in his opposition to the invasion, Texans seem to believe that Clinton is the one best able to deliver the goods.

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