Rick Perry vs. the World *
Tracking the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.
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Saturday, December 04, 2004
Is she a candidate or isn't she?
Julie Mason notes in the Houston Chronicle the sniping over a recent Rick Perry DC visit.
Perry was in Washington this week, meeting with Defense Department officials on military base expansion and related issues.

But his visit managed to tweak Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, a Republican considering running against Perry in the 2006 gubernatorial primary.

Hutchison had paid special attention in the Senate to the state's military bases, and Perry apparently neither told her he was coming nor invited her to join him in the meetings.

Asked whether he was in town poaching on Hutchison's political turf, Perry said, "I hope Texas is all our turf, quite frankly."

The Texas delegation in Congress has taken a lead in preserving and expanding Texas military base capacity, pushing through $1 billion in new construction projects during the past few years, Hutchison spokesman Kevin Schweers said.

"I'm not sure we understand yet the purpose of today's meetings or how they fit in with the delegation's effort, so I'm not in a position to comment further," Schweers said of Perry's session at the Pentagon.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who also has made military base issues a priority and is not expected to run for governor in two years, was untroubled by Perry's visit, according to spokesman Don Stewart.

"We are always happy to have state officials press the case for state facilities here in D.C.," Stewart said.
Is this an attempt by Cornyn to stay neutral or to subtlely back Perry?

Perry also did quite a bit of politicking with DC interest groups to try to steer some endorsements his way if Hutchison challenges him.

Also of note, though the Chronicle article didn't play it up, is that prominent talking head George Will had a dinner party to introduce Perry to national journalists.

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