During Thursday and Friday of last week, I attended Texas' Republican Party Convention in Downtown Houston. I had a really good time. It is a rare event that I am surrounded by people who want to talk about politics.
I was able to listen to quite a few speakers, so I thought I would pass along my impressions.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson - She seems like a very sweet lady, but she is a terrible public speaker.
Sen. John Cornyn - I was more impressed with him than I have been in the past. He wasn't spectacular, but he seems to be quite smart.
Gov. Rick Perry - I know that he's not the most popular governor we've had, but I think he is consistently a good speaker. I also remember him just humiliating Sanchez back in the 2002 gubernatorial debates. He is a smart guy, and comes across well everytime I hear him.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst - Not a great speaker, but not bad. He was soundly booed when he mentioned his support for a national ID card. He seemed to get flustered by the response. Overall, not a good moment for him.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - He's good and insightful, but not very inspiring. I was disappointed by his populist dig against speculators driving up oil prices, which I think is bogus. He's fun to listen to though. His humor avoided the cheeky one liners everyone used.
Fmr. Gov. Mike Huckabee - Absolutely superb. I did not, and will not, vote for him for a number of reasons, but I found what he had to say very compelling. He avoided economic topics, which is good because he doesn't have a clue. He's funny and charming. Odd how 20 years in the pulpit helps someone become a good communicator.
Michael Williams, Texas Railroad Commissioner - Very good! He came across knowing much more than I do about the economics of energy, which is unprecedented in any politician that I have ever heard. Funny, engaging, and persuasive. I hope that he runs for the Senate in 2010 to replace the retiring Hutchinson. The crowd loved him.
There were other speakers from Texas, but none of them rose much above mediocre.