This is not exactly shocking news. Most people who follow Texas politics closely have been predicting that she would serve our her term since her campaign began to collapse in January, or was it last September? It is her best option, and perhaps her only option.
Hutchison has been a good senator for Texas. One of the disturbing developments of the campaign was Perry’s labeling the good work she does for the state as “pork.” This sets a very bad precedent for the future. Texans send their money to Washington, and they are entitled to get some of it back. There is nothing wrong with that. If every Texan in Congress is going to be assailed for bringing home the bacon, Texas is going to be a lot worse off than it has been with KBH as senator. For all Perry’s talk about creating jobs, I think it’s a safe bet that Hutchison created more jobs with highway funding, NASA funding, military funding, university research funding, and projects requested by local leaders than Perry created with his enterprise fund, and, unlike the shell game in switching money around in Perry’s funds, there was nothing unseemly about it.
The losers in Hutchison’s decision, of course, are the wannabes, especially the apparent frontrunners (John Sharp, Roger Williams, and David Dewhurst), who will have to wait until a special election in 2013. And Bill White can take another bite at the apple if he loses the governor’s race.
Hutchison’s decision gives her a chance to regain her popularity. It also means that, if the Republicans retake control of the Senate, she would be in line to chair the important Commerce committee.
It was never easy to understand why she wanted to give up her Senate seat to run for governor–and she never told us. She made the same mistake that all of Perry’s challengers have made, which was to underestimate him. Now she’s back where she should have stayed in the first place, and Perry can contemplate whether to seek national office.
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