One kooky grandma

How many names will Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn carry to the polls in March 2006?

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The 2006 governor’s race in Texas is expected to get under way tomorrow with an Austin fiesta where State Comptroller Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn (all one person) is expected to announce for the Republican primary in March.

Strayhorn was McClellan when she was elected as Austin mayor (her son Scott is White House press secretary and another son runs Medicare). She was Rylander when elected as the first female on the Texas Railroad Commission. This go around she’s a Strayhorn. Who knows, if she actually gets elected governor she may change her name again. Maybe she will call herself George Bush. Or Ronald Reagan.

Carole bills herself as “one tough grandma.” She is pretty feisty and has taken on Gov. Goodhair Rick Perry on a number of issues. I would bet Perry would use the term “pain in the ass” to describe Carole. She is also kind of goofy. Nothing specific I can point to, but I remember her calling me up one time when she was on the Railroad Commission and she just came across as kind of dingy. That’s not not to say she is a bad person.

My vague characterizations notwithstanding, the Republican race for governor could provide entertainment the likes we have not seen since the Great Texas Fry-Off in 1990. I refer to the three-way race for the Democratic nomination between Former governors Ann Richards and Mark White, and former Texas attorney general Jim Mattox. Each tried to one-up each other on who was toughest on crime. I think I remember “Saturday Night Live” doing a skit on the race, the candidates each saying they fried more death row prisoners than the other.

Not only do Goodhair and Carole seem to hate each other but the buzz continues that U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison may enter the race. This could get really good! I wouldn’t mind seeing a one-on-one throwdown between Carole and Kay. I think Carole may have a weight advantage over former University of Texas cheerleader and TV reporter Kay. I truly believe Carole could also whip Rick Perry’s ass. And if it was a battle of wits, both Strayhorn and Hutchison would face a governor who showed up for battle unarmed.

So I look forward to hearing if Carole makes it official tomorrow at her shindig. I hear she’s giving away free hot dogs, but I don’t think I would drive to Austin from Beaumont just for free hot dogs. Maybe if she was going three rounds with Kay or one round with Gov. Hair I would go.

Nonetheless, let the festivities begin. Release the hounds!

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