Notes from Evan Smith
"The joke, apparently, is on us -- and by us, I mean those of us who think we know a little something about politics, and therefore assumed that by now, so close to Election Day 2006, Kinky Friedman's gubernatorial candidacy would be dead as a doornail. It's not -- according to the latest polls, the 62-year musician, author, and raconteur is still the choice of one out of five likely voters -- although I'd still bet his ranch in Medina that come November 8, he'll be back home in his green doublewide licking his wounds, having finished somewhere south of first, with the prospect of being one of Rick Perry's constituents for four more years an especially bloody wound to lick. As Kinky's former boss, sort of, I get asked certain questions inspired by his quixotic campaign all the time, and I'll answer them all at once: Yes, he's serious about this; no, I have no idea what he'd do if he won; yes, he's smart as hell; no, he's not a racist, though I wish he didn't give people who don't know him a plausible reason to think so; yes, he's this much fun off stage; no, he couldn't possibly be this much fun if elected -- the pressure of governing as opposed to just campaigning would get to him. Then again, what do I know? What does anyone know? Never before has Texas seen an election like this one, with a Republican, a Democrat, two Independents, and a Libertarian locked in mortal combat, all but ensuring that the winner will be opposed by two-thirds of those who bother to go to the polls. *If* turnout is high, *if* college kids are energized, *if* the apparent Republican collapse at the national level depresses Perry's base in both senses of the word, *if* he manages to be funny without offending every other person he meets -- well, let's just say Sarah Bird's prospects for long-term employment as a back-page columnist for a statewide magazine will be looking pretty sweet, and the docents at the mansion will spend the next four years emptying ashtrays."
- Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 11.02.06
February 24, 2005, interview coming soon!