To Kinky Friedman, a Wendy-for-governor campaign is no joke

Posted Saturday, Jun. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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kennedy America found a new outspoken Texas Democrat.

Much to his chagrin — or maybe relief — it’s not Kinky Friedman.

“People texted me last week about Wendy Davis, saying this is the most excited they’ve felt about politics in a long time,” said Friedman, the Bandera County mystery novelist, singer and former independent candidate for governor with the slogan: “How Hard Could It Be?”

“She’s the Joan of Arc of the Texas Democrats,” he said.

“For Democrats to win again, they need to show some courage and get back independent voters. She’s doing that.”

Needless to say, Friedman, 68, was not in the Texas Capitol last week when Davis stood and spoke for 11 hours to cheers that rattled the dome.

He’s been home a month from a 36-day European tour, and will come to Fort Worth this week to speak at a convention Wednesday and Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July picnic Thursday.

Until last week, he would have been talking about his own 2014 campaign for governor. He had promised an “old-style, Harry Truman” campaign for casino gambling and legalized marijuana.

The idea of Davis running is “exciting” and he’s studying his plans and financing, he said.

“If Wendy decides to run — I basically support her issues all the way,” Friedman said, mentioning past benefit shows for Planned Parenthood.

In the 2006 campaign, he often introduced himself jokingly as “like [former Gov.] Ann Richards in drag.” He often has said today’s Democrats lack the clarity of former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan, Richards’ courage or the conscience of the Star-Telegram’s late columnist, Molly Ivins.

For inspiration now, he said, Democrats should turn to — no kidding — Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Houston.

“He showed you can beat [Gov.] Rick Perry and [Lt. Gov.] David Dewhurst and all their money and power,” Friedman said.

“Texans turned away from the Austin establishment. It might happen again.”

Democrats should support gambling and marijuana to draw libertarian voters, he said with a laugh: “It would put a real crimp in the Mexico drug cartels. And it would make Willie Nelson very happy.”

I’m not so sure.

But back in the 2006 campaign, he argued to legalize same-sex marriage and end the death penalty. He finished fourth with 500,000 votes, but opinion polls are moving his way.

As always, Friedman reserved special scorn for Perry after praising him in a moment of pity during the governor’s haphazard presidential campaign:

“The point is, should the governor of Texas be an elected dictator who spends his time stacking college boards with regents,” Friedman asked, “or should he be a leader who uplifts people, one who hears their voices?”

Or should he be a she?

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @BudKennedy Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/budkennedy

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