The news that Bob McTeer will step down as chancellor of the Texas A&M system could help solve a lot of problems in Texas politics. The ideal candidate to replace him should be (1) a devoted Aggie who (2) knows his way around the Capitol and (3) needs long-term employment. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the next chancellor of Texas A&M: James Richard Perry.
The timing is perfect for Perry. McTeer will not depart until the end of the year. This allows Perry to continue his race for reelection. If McTeer had resigned immediately and Perry were to take the job immediately, the Republican party would not be able to replace him on the ballot and the next governor would be named Bell, Strayhorn, or Friedman. By waiting until January to accept the chancellor’s job, Perry can take the oath of office and then resign, allowing fellow Republican David Dewhurst to fill the vacancy–with the additional benefit that Dewhurst won’t have to suffer the daily criticisms of insurgent Republican senator-to-be Dan Patrick. Speaker Craddick will be none too thrilled, but as long as Dewhurst signs Craddick-backed bills providing more tax breaks for oil companies, they’ll get along fine. And in the Senate, Jane Nelson and Tommy Williams will emerge as rival candidates to succeed Dewhurst as lieutenant governor–a race that will be decided by the votes of the senators.
Perry will make a fine chancellor. He has a proven record as a fundraiser. A&M can expect to have the James Leininger College of Educational Choice, the Bob Perry School of Residential Construction, and the Richard Weekley Endowed Chair of Litigation Prevention. He’ll win over the hearts of legislative budget-writers, too, as he hands out tickets to the t.u. game. Directions: Just take the new Trans-Texas corridor toll road connecting Houston and Dallas by way of College Station.
One last thing: Pay no attention to the story that McTeer’s successor will actually be Wendy Gramm. Perry appointed the entire board of regents. Surely he will receive their votes.