Romney’s Texas Cabinet Members?

U.S. Senator John Cornyn and outgoing senator Kay Bailey Hutchison were floated as potential members of a Romney administration, and Greg Abbott is a top choice to head the EPA.
Fri October 26, 2012 7:05 pm
AP Photo | Joe Mitchell

Could Texas have another brand new U.S. senator besides Ted Cruz  besides Ted Cruz or Paul Sadler in just three months? Maybe so, if Mitt Romney is elected president.

As Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News noted, a speculative National Journal  article included three Texans on its list of potential Romney cabinet members, including senator John Cornyn for Attorney General, retiring senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for Secretary of Transportation, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. (That's Hutchison and Cornyn, above, with fellow Senator Mitch McConnell.) Wrote Hoppe:

Certainly Hutchison with her experience in Washington and dealing with transportation issues would be a credible pick. And Cornyn still has an impressive legal resume that includes being a Supreme Court justice and AG in Texas. The only concern might be from his colleagues across the aisle since Cornyn has been steeped in partisan politics of late, including being in charge of doling out the senatorial campaign funds aimed at winning GOP seats and displacing Democrats.

In truth, Jim O'Sullivan's NJ article didn't exactly list either Texan as a favorite. Cornyn was sixth on a list of seven AG candidates, after "long-shot contender" New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

But as O'Sullivan noted, one thing in Cornyn's favor is there would be no chance of the Republican Party not maintaining his seat.

Hutchison was suggested, along with Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuno, as possibilities for not only Secretary of Transportation, but also Commerce or Interior.

However, Hutchison didn't sound like somebody who wanted to return to Washington in her recent interview with Texas Monthly 's Brian Sweany. "Certainly part of my decision process [for leaving the Senate] was that I wanted to raise my children in Texas," she said. "At their age, commuting is just not a good thing for them."

More plausible is the possibilty of Abbott to head the EPA. But, wait, you might say. The same Environmental Protection Agency Abbott has  sued six times ? Doesn't he hate those guys?

Exactly. 

"Under a President Romney, the EPA administrator would be tasked with trying to delay or abolish some of the biggest rules the agency has promulgated during Obama’s first term," O'Sullivan wrote. "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has led the Lone Star State’s ambitious attack on several of EPA’s clean-air rules, is one of the top state officials the campaign is considering."

Should Abbott seriously be interested in serving at the White House, that would also reduce any chance that he might run for governor or lieutenant governor in 2014. 

As the Morning News ' Hoppe pointed out, Governor Rick Perry was not anywhere to be found on the National Journal 's list, though neither were most other Republian presidential primary contenders.

Still, that seems a major oversight. Perry is plainly qualifed to run either the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education or...

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