If your election night party is held at an exotic game ranch in Texas, what does that say about you?
It says you go for the kill.
The Wrangler-wearin', coyote-cappin', budget-bustin' Governor we had last year, and the year before that, and the year before that and -- well, you get the idea -- has been elected again. Becoming the longest-serving Governor in Texas history, Rick Perry got reelected because Rick Perry goes for the kill. And, ready or not, Rick Perry will become the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee for the very same reason.
For those in Texas who weren't getting paid to believe otherwise, Rick Perry's win wasn't much of a surprise. Percentages might have varied but one thing was certain: Texans weren't ready, weren't even cattle-car close, to elect a Democrat as Governor. Not this year, not after That One got into that big white mansion and sullied up, well, something. Texans aren't too clear on the details down here but we hear it happened in Washington.
But Tuesday night's results were much worse than many ever believed possible. Republicans took down countless (at press time) Democratic State House incumbents, longtime Democratic Congressional members like Chet Edwards, D-Waco, and left the others who didn't lose limping away with narrow margins. It was a slaughter of epic proportions, gazelles being picked off from the herd, with the Republican party going for the weak and the elderly, the young and the slow.
No, it wasn't a year for incumbent Democrats, but what can you expect from a state full of trophy hunters? Texans know what big game looks like and have an uncanny attraction to shiny objects. We prefer our candidates to come in special packages with leather trim and low mileage and who carry guns when they go jogging because we think that makes them special, like a King Ranch edition of Ford truck. Texans went in to the voting booth Tuesday to pull the lever for the big game prize: straight ticket Republican with the twelve-point buck, Rick Perry, at the top.
But Rick Perry's not special. In fact, he's really no different than our last Texas Governor who graced the White House, except for that this one's fantastically good at running the state into the ground. Rick Perry will make sure that won't get talked about. Humility has never been one of Rick Perry's strong suits. What will get plenty of attention is that Rick Perry's Fed Up, according to the new book Perry took national as of, oh, ten seconds after he won Tuesday night. But the book is just chum. It's tossing out corn to distract from the issues at hand while he gets set up in his presidential deer blind, offering folksy, chest-puffing lines in his acceptance speech like "Texas [has] kinda' got a leg up on the rest of the country, gentlemen." Well, saddle me surprised, Rick. I thought Texas had a $25 billion-dollar budget deficit. Oh, wait, you weren't talking to me - because I'm a woman.
For many Democrats, their election cycle ended tonight. But for the rest of America, the hunt for 2012 just began. Rick Perry's already got it between the cross-hairs.