Herman: Texas, is our governor delusional?


I hope I’m wrong (a too-oft-realized aspiration) but as a result of recent and recurring inbox traffic, I’m concerned about our governor’s orientation as to time and place and reality.

Here’s the deal: A person would have to be kind of disoriented as to time and place and reality to think the Democrats have a chance in Hades of ousting GOP Gov. Greg Abbott next year.

Abbott thinks the Dems have a chance of defeating him next year.

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I’m aware of Abbott’s innermost thoughts on this because he’s been expressing them to me on a daily, sometimes semi-daily, basis. I don’t think I’m betraying any confidences by sharing what he’s been telling me via emails that arouse concern about the gov’s orientation as to time and place and reality.

He’s either delusional or is willing to sound delusional for the crass purpose of getting into your wallet.

Here’s more of the deal: Friday’s the deadline for the current political fundraising period. Abbott’s emailing-for-dollars campaign began after the legislative session ended on Memorial Day. By law, officeholders can’t raise political money during the session.

In January, Abbott’s political account had $34.4 million, which my colleague Jonathan Tilove noted was “an enormous sum even by Texas standards.” For Abbott, enormous (even by Texas standards) apparently is not synonymous with sufficient. In politics, too much money often is viewed as not enough.

Abbott came out of the fundraising gate with an email saying, “We are under attack for sticking to our principles.”

“The usual suspects – media elites, D.C. liberals, and their financial backers – are absolutely livid,” he told me.

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Indeed some of them are. But they probably remain as hopelessly inept about doing anything about it in Texas as they’ve been for a generation.

“I need your help right away,” Abbott told me in the email. “Your contribution to my campaign will show that Texans have my back as we protect these victories from a re-energized far-left army bent on turning Texas blue.”

That same day Abbott was back in my inbox with this dire warning/cash call: “Make no mistake. They are coming after Texas in 2018.”

“I will never wave the white flag when it comes to preserving Texans’ freedom,” he told me. “No matter what. But that’s made me a top target in 2018 for national Democrats seeking to gain a foothold here in Texas.”

For national Democrats’ sake, I would hope they’re smart enough to know the Texas gubernatorial race is one in which they have little chance for much, if any, return on investment.

Despite his cash on hand, Abbott told me (and lots of others with inboxes) that because he couldn’t raise money during the legislative session he is at “a huge disadvantage.”

Vis-à-vis whom? You got a guess on who the Democrats will run for governor?

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On another recent day, Abbott re-sounded the resounding alarm with this: “Big-government liberals are doing everything they can to win in Texas, and without your help, they’ll do it.”

On June 23, Abbott’s one-governor assault on my inbox continued with warnings about “liberal billionaire George Soros.”

“With that type of endless funding from liberal megadonors, I need every Second Amendment defender in Texas to join the fight,” Abbott told me. “You may remember this response by the brave Texans who stood in defiance of those that tried to disarm them at the Battle of Gonzales, igniting the Texas Revolution: ‘COME AND TAKE IT!’”

Fightin’ — and fundraisin’ — words indeed.

As the end of the fundraising period approached, Abbott continued his assault on my wallet. There was good news and bad news in the email titled, “6 months behind ….” He told me the dreaded, anti-Texas “liberal megadonors” have been megadonating, “while I haven’t been able to raise a single dime.”

Tempting, isn’t it, to send him a single dime?

“They understand the next few days are going to determine if the liberals’ months of fundraising are going to leave me in the dust,” Abbott wrote.

And he said in addition to raising cash the Democrats are “busy scouring Texas for the right Democrat candidate who they believe can take back Texas’ Governor’s Mansion in 2018!”

Oh yeah, money’s great, but Texas Democrats need an actual human candidate who can break their long losing streak.

Reality check: There very likely is no such Democrat. I think Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick might have a shot at beating Abbott in the GOP primary, but Patrick’s sworn off that race. Though Abbott’s done much to rev them up, Texas Democrats still seem a cycle or two or three from winning a statewide race.

I know complacency/overconfidence can be political poison, but what if Abbott, instead of emailing make-believe desperation, shows confidence that he’s done a good job and that Texans know it? What if instead of asking folks to send him money, he asked them to give that cash to their favorite charity?

Uh, oh. Now who’s sounding like he might not be properly oriented as to time and place and reality?

P.S. Cecilia Abbott also is persuaded the Democrats could oust her husband next year.

“I have been honored as the first lady of Texas to watch Greg tirelessly fight to make Texas a better place to live, work, and raise a family. But he needs your help to keep our beloved Texas a model for the rest of the nation,” she told me in a Wednesday email. “That’s why these next few hours are critical.”

And then there was this urgent, noon email Thursday from John Jackson, Abbott’s campaign manager: “I’ve just got an email from Governor Abbott. He’s asking about our fundraising goal, and right now, the news isn’t good. We’re $28,565.28 short of our $50,000 goal and if we don’t make up that $28,565.28 before tomorrow’s deadline, our campaign is going to start at a real disadvantage. … Please don’t make me deliver bad news to the governor.”

Please, indeed.



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