To borrow a classic Bugs Bunny quote, “What a maroon.” That pretty much sums up how people are taking the excuse Matthew Dowd gave when he ended his campaign for Lt. Governor of Texas. Even with favorable press coverage from the time he announced his intention to challenge the current lt. governor, Republican Dan Patrick, Dowd’s campaign never really took off and less than two months later, he’s flamed out.
The former Bush adviser was embraced by Democrats because it is all about turning Texas blue these days for their party. What better way to stick it to Texas Republicans than to support a former Bushie running as a Democrat? Even that didn’t motivate voter support for Dowd, though. Reports frequently cited very small crowds at his events, and press coverage after the announcement was almost non-existent. In other words, he saw the writing on the wall and dropped out. He’s a quitter but he wants you to think it’s from a point of personal integrity. He wants a more diverse political landscape, you see, and he’s an older white man. He’s stepping aside for purposes of diversity.
In a statement last week, Dowd said he was ending his candidacy because he saw “a growing diversity in candidates for the office, and he didn’t want to stand in the way of new diverse leadership.” He pointed to a column he wrote in 2018 that has been highly criticized. Dowd suggested in the piece that white Christian males need to step aside and allow more diverse candidates to run for office. So, in his statement upon withdrawing from the race, he explained he’s “a person of integrity” and living his words.
I have always strive to be a person of integrity by living the values I espouse. Sometimes I fall short, but each day I make every attempt to be the person I want to see in the mirror.
To that end, I have decided to step back, not file in the Democratic primary, and end my campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Texas. When I first announced, the only other candidate was a white male Christian. A diverse field is now emerging in the Democratic primary for this office. I do not want to be the one who stands in the way of the greater diversity we need in politics. The GOP Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, has failed our state and harmed Texans. He seeks to undermine important right of our fellow citizens and must be defeated. I will do whatever I can to accomplish that end now as a Texan not running for office.
If someone has to tell you that they are a person of integrity, that should be a red flag. Former candidate for lt. governor, Mike Collier, is running again. He’s been a perennial candidate so he has name recognition and an operation in place. The only other person of note that has filed is state Rep. Michelle Beckley who announced her candidacy about three weeks ago. You may remember her from her glory-seeking time as a fleebagger last summer. She and other Democrats from the Texas House fled to Washington, D.C. instead of remaining in Austin to do their jobs as legislators. She embarrassed herself by telling everyone how brave she was to be a fleebagger. At the time she thought she’d springboard from that publicity to a run for the U.S. House but that never happened. She filed to run for the U.S. House but withdrew. So, now she’s running for lt. governor. If someone has to tell you how brave they are, are they?
Carla Brailey, the vice-chair of the Texas Democratic Party, has said she is considering a run for lieutenant governor. She would be the second woman in the race. Beckley is white, Brailey is black.
Does anyone think Dowd is stepping aside for some kind of gallant reason? It’s laughable. The Mayor of Dallas doesn’t believe him either. Mayor Eric Johnson, a black Democrat, says there’s a whole lot of racism in the Democrat Party. He’s looking at Dowd.
Democratic Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson claimed Wednesday that racism exists in the Democratic Party and likened it to an “800 lb gorilla in the room” that everyone pretends doesn’t exist.
“I’m confused and a little disturbed by the reasoning here,” Johnson tweeted in a response to a statement from Matthew Dowd, who dropped out of the race for Texas lieutenant governor earlier this week to allow for a more “diverse” field.
“Campaigns are precisely for the purpose of selecting the BEST candidate,” Johnson continued. “It seems my friend is saying that Democratic primary voters are incapable of nominating women and minorities if there is a white man on the ballot?”
If this is in fact the case then shame on the Democratic primary voters who are incapable of voting for women and minority candidates if presented with a white male alternative. But for white male candidates to stop running as Democrats to “give us a chance” feels wrong to me.
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) December 8, 2021
The problem is NOT white men running for office. The problem is the 800 lb gorilla in the room, which is the racism within the Democratic Party that many pretend doesn’t exist. So the solution isn’t folks like Dowd “yielding” to candidates of color. It’s addressing the racism.💯
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) December 9, 2021
Not only does Dowd insult Democrat voters as though they are not capable of choosing a candidate other than a white male one, but he is called out, along with the rest of the Democrat Party, for their racism. Doesn’t Dowd remember the line used by his former boss, George W. Bush? Bush said it’s the “bigotry of low expectations”, a phrase coined by one of his speechwriters, Michael Gerson, that is the left’s approach to minorities, especially the black community. It implies that black people are unable to achieve success in American society. With this way of thinking, Democrats don’t raise up people, they demean them.
Democrats depend on black voters to win elections while the Texas GOP statewide slate includes two high-profile Latinos and two Black candidates who have previously held state or federal office. The Democrat slate is mostly white. In November, the Texas Tribune wrote about this.
The GOP slate for statewide office includes two high-profile Latinos: Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, who are both running for attorney general. It also includes two Black candidates who have previously held state or federal office: former Florida congressman Allen West and state Rep. James White, who are running for governor and agriculture commissioner, respectively.
By contrast, the Democrats’ most formidable candidates are white — Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor, and Mike Collier, Matthew Dowd and Michelle Beckley, who are running for lieutenant governor.
Republicans are gaining victories with Latino candidates in south Texas and that is worrying Democrats who have dominated the area for decades.
Both Beckley and Collier issued statements on Dowd’s withdrawal from the race.
In a statement, Beckley said she appreciated Dowd’s willingness to step back and let women compete for the seat. She said she welcomed Dowd and his supporters to join her campaign.
“Women have been underrepresented in politics for too long,” Beckley said. “The Democratic Party is a diverse party and a party that supports the goals and aspirations of women, and in stepping back, Dowd is showing his respect for voters.”
Collier issued a statement on Twitter: “I’m thankful for all that Matthew Dowd has done to demonstrate to the nation the importance of defeating Dan Patrick. With so much on the line, Matthew and I join millions of Texans in committing to do all we can to defeat Dan Patrick in 2022.”
Dowd’s run was all about him and his desire to virtual-signal others. I’ll drag out my magic Eight Ball and predict that none of this matters when the next election rolls around. Dan Patrick will be re-elected as lt. governor. Greg Abbott will be re-elected as governor. Matthew Dowd will go back to being a television commentator if he gets a job offer. In the meantime, he and other Democrats could use a mirror.