Things in the nation's capital would look far different if Texas' former Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison were still in office, says the Houston Chronicle.
"Does anyone else miss Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison?" the newspaper asked
in an editorial Tuesday.
Hutchison, who served from June 1993 until Sen. Ted Cruz took office in January, was the first woman to represent Texas in the Senate and also the first Texas senator to receive more than four million votes in a single election.
"We're not sure how much difference one person could make in the toxic, chaotic, hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington, but if we could choose just one it would be Hutchison, whose years of service in the Senate were marked by the two things sorely lacking in her successor, Ted Cruz," it stated.
"For one thing, Hutchison had an unswerving commitment to the highest and best interests of Texas at all times," said the Chronicle. "This revealed itself in a thousand different ways," including her "advocacy for NASA, the Port of Houston, and the energy industry."
"And dare we say it?" it continued. "We miss her extraordinary understanding of the importance of reaching across the aisle when necessary. Neither sitting Texas senator has displayed that useful skill" it said, referring to Cruz and Republican Sen. John Cornyn.
Acknowledging that it endorsed Cruz in last November's general election, the Chronicle said, "We did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation — that he follow Hutchison's example in his conduct as a senator."
"Obviously, he has not done so," the editorial continued. "Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution," including working "shoulder to shoulder with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in crafting a workable solution that likely would have avoided the government shutdown altogether."
The editorial also took aim at Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost to Cruz in the 2012 primary. "Since the defeat, the lieutenant governor has attempted a full-blown political makeover designed to make him the darling of the conservative wing of the party," it asserted.
"Faced with the impossible task of outflanking three strong conservative challengers, the traditional moderate Dewhurst does not seem like a man comfortable in his own skin."
"It's painful to watch," the paper added.
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