White vs. Valdez governor's runoff speaks volumes about the state of the Democrats in Texas
Last Friday, two Democrats vying to be the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for the upcoming Texas race, Ms. Lupe Valdez and Mr. Andrew White, had a debate, but not many people watched it.
After all, here in Texas, we have one of the top 15 gross domestic products worldwide, and we have given the country several of its leaders, from LBJ to George Bush 41 to George W. Bush 43. This isn't prime growing space for Democrats, what with their focus on whining and victimhood.
So am I the only person who is bit underwhelmed by the Valdez-White campaign?
I don't think so, and even the Texas Observer agrees with me. They came up with a killer title for their op-ed columnist's commentary: "We Watched the Andrew White/Lupe Valdez Debate Because You Probably Didn't!"
Here is a bit of the op-ed:
First, a caveat: It's hard to whip up scorching hot takes from Friday night's Democratic gubernatorial runoff debate, in part because it was such a lukewarm affair. Not to mention that hardly anyone is paying attention to a runoff debate on a Friday night.
The most earth-shattering result would have been – as Andrew White, the Houston businessman and scion of a former governor was perhaps hoping – that former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who has developed a reputation for her shaky grasp on policy, would crash and burn in a debate, thus propelling White to a runoff upset. That didn't happen.
The most confrontational moment came when Valdez attempted to magnify their differences on abortion, demanding that White apologize for implying that women who seek abortions don't respect life.
"My personal opinions are my personal opinions. As governor, I trust women to make their own health care decisions," White replied. Or when White said that Valdez, as Dallas County sheriff, didn't stand up to federal immigration authorities like [sic] Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez did. "I had to make imperfect decisions based on what was best for the community," Valdez responded, "As governor, I would not allow for anybody to be put into that situation."
Both instances reflect the milder takeaway from the debate, which is that White and Valdez remain deeply flawed candidates in their own ways.
They are terribly flawed candidates, indeed! The Dallas Morning News had pretty much the same opinion.
Miss Valdez, 70, carries two terrible pieces of baggage. She is pro-abortion in a state where Hispanic women are not into what they call "choice." She is the face of "sanctuary cities" in a state that passed S.B. 4, or one of the toughest laws in the country. On top of that, she is not sharp on her feet.
Mr. White, 45, is dancing around the reality that "white males" or self-described "conservative Democrats" are not cool anymore in the party. He danced around the abortion and marriage questions by saying he is against it but it's the law of the land. He is incomprehensible on sanctuary cities.
White would have been better off saying his father, the late Texas governor Mark White, wouldn't recognize the Texas Democratic Party of 2018.
In the meantime, the Hispanic left finds both uninspiring. They are hoping Robert "Beto" O'Rourke, who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, will boost turnout.
This charade will end on May 22. My guess is that the turnout will be very low.
In the meantime, Texas governor Greg Abbott will be waiting on May 23, the day after the Democrats' run-off, with high approval ratings and lots of cash.