If the Chronicle is Endorsing Dewhurst because Ted Cruz is too Conservative Republican then Cruz is the guy for me!
Editorial: Who should fill Hutchison's boots?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
There's a torrid race in the Texas Republican primary to replace a Washingtonmonument. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the first woman to represent the state of Texasin the Senate, is retiring after three-plus terms of service in the world's most exclusive club.
Given a magic wand, we'd order up a replacement who would blend the skills ofHutchison with those of Lloyd Bentsen - with just a pinch of the calculated orneriness of Lyndon Johnson .
Our dream resume would read: collegial, well-versed on issues foreign and domestic, a tough bargainer who keeps his word; above all, skilled in the traditional Senate ways of civil give and take, and in tune with the needs and views of the millions who make up the Texas mainstream.
That's asking a lot. On the other hand, the winner of the Republican primary is likely to be the state's incoming junior senator, serving alongside Sen. John Cornyn.
This is no place for beginners. Hutchison's are big boots to fill and Texasis a big state with properly large ambitions for a prosperous future. Traditionally, our U.S.senators have had a big hand in shaping that future. That is what will be expected of Hutchison's successor, Republican or Democrat.
The Republican primary has drawn no less than nine candidates for the open Senate seat, with four rated as likely contenders: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz; former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert; and broadcaster and former football star Craig James.
Of the four, our endorsement goes to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, with a nod of acknowledgment to Leppert's well-conceived candidacy.
Cruz, a serious thinker, and James, a likable personality, do not exhibit the inclination to operate within the traditional Washington system of respectful give and take that has been noticeably absent in recent years.
We understand that the two men, and their backers on the party's right, wear this take-no-prisoners approach like a badge of honor. But we don't believe it's helpful; indeed, we view it as a large part of the problem in Washington. And we think David Dewhurst is uniquely qualified to work with collegiality to bring results that most Texans want: budget cuts and a sustainable approach to trimming the $16 trillion deficit; federal assistance that helps us to keep our air and water clean and our children healthy; reasonable regulation in cooperation with state agencies that helps our state to fully develop the natural resources such as oil and gas from shale that offer such promise in an environmentally responsible way.
The David Dewhurst we are endorsing is the man who has served ably in Austinfor more than a decade, first as land commissioner and then as lieutenant governor. By our lights, Dewhurst's service, particularly his leadership of the Texas Senate, has been a model of respectful efficiency. His is a record of fairness and willingness to reach across party lines to do what is best for Texas.
Along with House Speaker Joe Straus, Dewhurst has been a welcome stabilizing influence in an often stormy and polarized legislative process. Isn't that what's called for in a divided Washington? We think it is.
We're also very aware of the vilification Dewhurst has received for being a "moderate" Republican, as if the very word were a slur. It is not. We'd note that most of this has been revved up in seemingly endless electronic hit jobs manufactured by Washington-based Super PACs.
Viewing these broadsides only convinces us that those who thought them up have a tin ear for the Texasway of working across the aisle made famous by Gov. George W. Bush and the late Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, and embraced by countless disciples in Texas public office through the decades. No Texas Republican need apologize for being a moderate.
In the primary season, we have regretted to learn that Dewhurst has failed to attend many opportunities to press the flesh with voters and engage with his chief rivals. That is not decision-making worthy of a man who would be U.S. senator from Texas.
Nor is his failure to meet with editorial boards at newspapers around the state. These traditional venues are an essential public service. They also lay the groundwork for our leaders in Washington to communicate effectively with those back home.
We've known David Dewhurst, a Houstonian, since before he came into public life. We appreciate his experience as a successful businessman and his service in Austin. We commend a vote for David Dewhurst for U.S. Senate to Republican primary voters.