The political blogs were ablaze this weekend following some rather questionable statements made by two candidates for governor right here in Texas. Our state is no stranger to having the dumb things our politicians said gracing the airwaves for the media to mock. Clayton Williams was made famous for comparing inclement weather to rape by suggesting that “if it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” And of course there is my all-time favorite Bush-ism, “is our children learning?” Just because our political history is rife with stupidity is no reason to continue the trend.
In an interview with Glenn Beck, Republican candidate Debra Medina was lobbed an easy question…and quickly struck out. Beck asked Medina if she was a 9/11 truther, she dodged the question stating that “the American people have not seen all of the evidence.” I understand that one of the popular political positions now-a-days is to question the federal government, but for Pete’s sake, does she really believe that Texas’ former governor let thousands of people die in a terrorist attack? I’m no fan of Dubya, but I can’t accept that he would let an attack like that happen. Up till now Medina’s poll numbers were climbing; several polls put her only a few percentage points behind Senator Hutchinson. With Governor Perry hovering around 45%, the collapse of Medina’s campaign makes a runoff less likely. If Perry survives the Primary without a runoff he, ironically, will have Debra Medina to thank.
The Texas Democrats were quick to respond to Medina’s gaffe. Not to be outdone by Texas Republicans, Farouk Shami decided to agree with Medina’s take on 9/11. When asked if he thought 9/11 was an inside job, Shami stated that he couldn’t say either way. In the worst case of damage control I’ve ever seen, his campaign quickly rolled out a statement that he simply “responded with the fact that he did not know.” This only tied the Democrats with the Republicans. Shami took it a step further and commented that “[He didn’t] find, you know, many white people really willing to work.” As if dishonoring the 9/11 dead wasn’t enough, Shami felt the need to resort to racism. Former Houston Mayor Bill White has been at or near 50% in the most recent polls. Shami has been desperately trying to gain ground on White. His campaign has resorted to negative ads and has attacked White’s record as the Mayor of Houston. Attacking White’s record is one thing, but attacking all whites is another.
Both Debra Medina and Farouk Shami were long-shot candidates, but in 24 hours they have gone from being long-shots to having no shot at all. With the polls closing on March 2nd, I can only hope that the remaining candidates can keep their mouths shut and stick to the issues. While I do consider myself an optimist, I’m sure that the race to the Governor’s mansion will grace us with another embarrassing sound-bite before the final vote is counted.