To me that question sounds absurd.
First, Bentley and Hubbard are both leaders in the ALGOP and a REAL inter-party primary in 2014 is bad news.
Second, I have already argued that Hubbard is more powerful than Bentley already when Yellow Hammer Politics wussed-out and named them both the most powerful men in the state. Bentley is powerful with his bully pulpit and title, but Hubbard controls the legislature and was responsible for helping A LOT of new blood get elected in 2010 leading to the Republican super majorities in the House and Senate.
Yes, I know all about the Riley vs. Bentley factions in the ALGOP and that both of these men are firmly ensconced in their factions.
That didn’t stop Jeff Poor of Mobile weekly from posing the question.
And he makes good points.
Hubbard just released a book, it’s about ending the 136 rule of Democrats BUT it is also about Hubbard himself…
Hubbard’s book is supposed to be about the campaign leading up to the November 2010 election that effectively ended the Democratic stranglehold on the state house in Montgomery, however it also reads something like Hubbard’s own autobiography – filled with anecdotes such as the bizarre behavior from former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who spoke at an Alabama GOP event just days before his infamous excursion on the “Appalachian Trail” and his low regard for former Alabama Attorney General Troy King.
Could the timing of this book’s release and the publicity associated it, along with grumblings among Alabama GOP power brokers over Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s job performance and the way he earned his party’s nomination in 2010 on the back of the Alabama Education Association (AEA), be setting Hubbard up to challenge the incumbent governor?
There is the Riley connection, again…
“He’s really not telling me to run for anything,” Hubbard told Lagniappe. “And I think he’s advising me to keep my head down, which is probably really good advice. But Gov. Riley – he’s been my mentor. Obviously, he’s the reason I got involved in politics.”
Hubbard credited Riley for his successful bid as Republican Party state chairman and the 2010 takeover of the statehouse. With Riley’s departure from the governor’s mansion in 2010 and Hubbard’s move from Minority Leader to House Speaker, Hubbard inherited some key figures from Riley’s staff, including his Chief of Staff Josh Blades and his Communications Director Todd Stacy.
“I’ve talked to the governor about my future and one of these days possibly running for governor,” Hubbard said. “At this point, this is an eternity. You plan and God laughs. Who knows what is going to happen. You know, in a perfect world, I would like to run for governor one day. But right now I thoroughly enjoy being Speaker of the House. I’m proud of what we’re able to do in the legislature.”
He doesn’t openly praise Bentley like you would expect….
When asked about Bentley’s performance, Hubbard at first seemed a little uncomfortable with the question, but gave the governor decent marks.
“Let’s see – I have to be careful,” he said. “I served with Gov. Bentley in the legislature for eight years. I was the minority leader and he was a House member, so I knew him going in. He’s been fine to work with. I personally get along with him very well. I like him. I think he is an honest man. As a Christian, he wants to do the right thing and I think we have a good relationship. I meet with him – during the session, I have a set meeting with him every Wednesday where we meet to just make sure we’re on the same page.”
Personally, it sounds good but Poor argues Byrne seems like a much more likely choice to run against Bentley…
Still, I don’t see how anyone beats Bentley at this point.
The GOP base is happy and even incumbent Gov. Bob Riley survived after his Amendment 1 debacle against a guy who just unseated Chief Justice Malone in another GOP primary, Roy Moore….
I don’t see it.
Oh yeah… Hubbard says, “Nope”…
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