HOUSTON -- Yes, the man who may become our next lieutenant governor once appeared on television with NFL cheerleaders painting his chest blue.
Now comes a new twist in the bitterly fought Republican race for Texas lieutenant governor: an attack music video. David Dewhurst, the incumbent fighting for his political life, has posted a musical parody featuring pictures dredged up from the days when State Sen. Dan Patrick pulled crazy stunts as a television sportscaster.
(Full disclosure: Patrick’s zany act was once a staple of sportscasts on KHOU Channel 11. Hey, it was the ‘70s, okay?)
Among the archival clips Dewhurst’s campaign dredged up from video vaults were shots of Houston Oiler cheerleaders daubing Columbia blue paint on Patrick’s bare chest and cheesy images of the future senator wearing a ruffled shirt under a tuxedo as he croons into a microphone. (Long before the karaoke craze, Patrick lip-synched songs during his sportscasts.)
The lyrics play up many of the Dewhurst campaign’s lines of attack against Patrick, including embarrassing details from his past financial failures and the fact that he changed his name. Sung to the tune of a song from the movie “Frozen,” the on-line video has been posted to the campaign’s website and circulated via email.
The video is just the latest volley in an increasingly nasty battle preceding a GOP runoff scheduled for the day after Memorial Day. Dewhurst, whose political vulnerability was dramatically demonstrated in his losing 2012 U.S. Senate race against Ted Cruz, trailed Patrick by a stunning 13 points in the March primary.
Now the underdog incumbent is pulling off the gloves in the final weeks of the campaign, calling Patrick “a pathological liar” and saying he’s unfit for the office of lieutenant governor. The fight has played out before television cameras in two debates, but Texas voters have watched it mostly through the campaign commercials airing on TV stations. During their last debate, both candidates devoted much of their air time to attacking each other over their attack ads.
The hostilities come to a merciful end on May 27, when Texas Republican voters will decide candidate will face Democratic State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte in November.