From The Dallas Morning News:
Cheney warms up patient crowd for Hutchison
Sorry, kids, but the thought of Deadeye Dick warming up anything is too hilarious!! Let’s continue.
HOUSTON – The rally for Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is running for governor, got a late start because of Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is serving as senator.
Dick Cheney was there Tuesday to provide a crowd-pleasing endorsement of Hutchison.
“We Westerners know the difference between a real talker and the real deal,” the former vice president said. “And when it comes to being conservative, Kay Bailey Hutchison is the real deal.”
Cheney and Hutchison stood before a spray of American and Texas flags on a makeshift stage in an art deco building that was Hobby Airport’s original terminal. About 150 Hutchison supporters showed up.
The event was delayed two hours because of votes on a defense appropriation bill in Washington.
The delay underscored the difficulty that Hutchison faces with her decision to remain in the Senate while running for governor against Rick Perry.
Candidates run for one office while remaining in another all the time, but Perry has served notice that he’s going to make an issue of it. He’s chided Hutchison for missing votes in Washington while she’s campaigning for governor – and every time he does, it’s a reminder to voters that she’s the candidate from Washington and he’s in Texas.
When she took the stage Tuesday, Hutchison told the crowd the reason the rally was pushed back two hours was because she was protecting the interests of Texas veterans in D.C.
Cheney never mentioned Perry by name but did resurrect an old Perry quote calling Hutchison “a true champion for Texas.”
The Cheney appearance was a major moment for Hutchison’s campaign. In show business, corralling a big name is called a “get.” And in the constellation of conservative Republicanism, Cheney is a get – a former vice president and prodigious critic of the Obama administration.
Perry has his own “get” – former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is expected to campaign with him before next March’s GOP primary.
As for Cheney, while his favorable ratings among Americans overall remain low, he’s popular among the GOP faithful. Still, Hutchison needs to bring November Republicans who do not usually vote in the primary to the ballot in March, and it’s not clear whether bringing Cheney to Texas helps woo that crowd.
“He adds nothing,” said Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Legal Institute, a leading social conservative activist and a Perry supporter.
Clearly, the Hutchison people hope otherwise. Cheney delivered a five-minute speech, citing Hutchison’s record of supporting tax cuts in Washington and, he said, leading the fight to kill the income tax in Texas.
When she took the stage, Hutchison noted a Sunday cable show in which daughter Liz Cheney suggested her father might be a good presidential candidate in four years.
“I wasn’t sure when I saw Liz Cheney on TV Sunday, I thought this might be the start of Cheney 2012,” Hutchison said.
A member of the crowd shouted, “We need you, Dick.”
Cheney shook his head.
“No chance,” he said.