What Does Victory Look Like for a Texas Democrat?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
April 25 2014 11:10 AM

The "Can You Say President Rick Perry?" Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the Common Core curriculum, the Texas gubernatorial race, and the presidential ambitions of Lone Star politicians.

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To listen to the discussion, use the player below:


And here's the Q&A session from this week's show:

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On this week's Slate Political Gabfest, live from Austin, Texas, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz join members of the Texas Tribune's TribCast to discuss the Common Core, Wendy Davis' run for governor, and the political ambitions of Rick Perry and Ted Cruz.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • You can subscribe to TribCast here to hear more from Ross Ramsey, Emily Ramshaw, and Reeve Hamilton.
  • The Common Core is a set of educational standards that have been adopted by 44 states and D.C. It has opponents on both the left and the right.
  • To some parents, Common Core math looks really weird.
  • Indiana adopted the Common Core, then dropped it.
  • Less than one-third of all public school students in New York passed the first round of Common Core testing in that state.
  • Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who filibustered an anti-abortion bill for 11 hours, is now running for governor.
  • Davis is polling far behind her Republican opponent. She should do less whining and more fighting, Rebecca Schoenkopf of Wonkette argued last week.
  • Democrats hope Leticia Van de Putte, their candidate for lieutenant governor, will help turn out the Latino vote.
  • Our Audible recommendation this week is the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.
  • Far more Texans say Sen. Ted Cruz is their top choice for president than Rick Perry, according to a Public Policy Polling survey.
  • During SXSW, Perry went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and charmed an unfriendly crowd.
  • A grand jury has been convened to determine whether Perry violated state law by slashing funding to the Public Integrity Unit.

John chatters about the Ask Roulette podcast, on which he was a guest last weekend.

Emily chatters about a new study on sex trafficking, which found that most teenage prostitutes don't have pimps.

David chatters about a planned upgrade to the presidential helicopter fleet. The last time the Pentagon tried to replace the helicopters, they spent $3.2 billion and produced nothing. David estimates that you can get a really nice gold-plated Chinook helicopter for $110 million.

This week's credits were in the style of the "Victory or Death" letter from the Alamo.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.


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