Why should she leave now? The senior Texas Republican senator got thumped in the March GOP primary for governor. Yes, she had said she would leave office “win or lose” in March. But she has gone back on it, saying today she will stay in office until the end of her term, which expires in 2012. What are Texans going to do — fire her?
It does stall the ambitions of some high-powered contenders for the Senate seat she has occupied since 1993. Two of them are coming from the Texas Railroad Commission — Republicans Elizabeth Ames Jones and Michael Williams. Another candidate, who also once served on the RRC (as well as the state Senate and as state comptroller), Democrat John Sharp, also wants to serve in the U.S. Senate. Those are the three big hitters, and there likely will be many more stepping forward at the appropriate time and place; I keep hearing the name “David Dewhurst.”
I’ll give Hutchison credit for this: She at least made up her mind quickly and declared her intentions publicly in rapid succession, unlike earlier when she dithered and dawdled over whether to resign her seat prior to the primary — which might have contributed somewhat to her defeat at the hands of Gov. Rick Perry.
Here’s a final word of advice: Don’t change your mind, senator, about leaving the Senate when your term is up. You’ve made yourself quite clear on that point. Taking back that pledge might be more than Texans can handle.