It’s a strange endorsement, at least from my perspective, but it’ll do.
Texans face a decision in this election that has come before them only twice over the last four decades: How to fill a Senate seat that has carried with it a proud lineage of service to the state and nation.
Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is stepping down after almost 20 years in Washington, where she made it a top priority to look out for Texans’ national, state and even personal needs. She first won her post in 1993, succeeding Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, who served for 22 years. Like Hutchison, he provided consistent constituent aid as well as leadership on national and state matters.
The committed work of these two bipartisan leaders to their state creates an impressive, demanding legacy for their successor. Recommending the right candidate to follow in the Hutchison-Bentsen tradition is a responsibility this newspaper takes seriously. That’s why we’ve interviewed both candidates multiple times, examined their public careers, reviewed their answers to our questionnaire, spoken with others who know them well and followed their activities on the campaign trail.
After that thorough examination, we believe Democrat Paul Sadler, 57, is the best person to uphold this legacy of service to Texas and to keep our state relevant where it matters most.
Sadler also is more in tune with our state’s needs. The moderate Democrat speaks knowledgeably about water challenges, the border and defense facilities. He has praised Hutchison for Texas-specific efforts, such as helping El Paso secure a water desalination facility.
Cruz says he’ll fight for Texas projects “if it’s legitimate expenditures.” When asked to elaborate, he didn’t mention specifics beyond assuring that Washington properly funds “roads, freeways and ports.” He’s more focused on interpreting constitutional principles and applying them generally.
The Republican candidate has gained nationwide attention for articulating his beliefs. Since capturing the nomination, the Houston attorney has appeared on numerous talk shows and addressed the GOP convention. If he wins, he will be a rising star in national Republican politics. This newspaper is left with the feeling that he is pushing his personal star more than the star of Texas.
It’s a bit of a surreal experience reading this editorial, as the DMN comes from the perspective of a bizarro fantasy world in which President Obama is an unbending partisan warrior and the biggest problem in Washington is a lack of good manners. Whatever it is they’re smoking, it’s premium stuff. Still, I’ll take the DMN’s delusions over those of the Chron, who seem to think that after arriving in Washington Cruz will shed his ideological trappings and morph into the second coming of Kay Bailey Hutchison. It was exactly the belief that Cruz is unlikely to do so that led the DMN to join the Express News in making the pragmatic choice of Sadler. At least, the Chron is hoping Cruz will morph into KBH; it’s not clear to me that they actually believe it. The Chron also cites Sadler’s lack of financial resources as a reason for picking Cruz, which is just sad on so many levels. Anyway, that makes the endorsement scoreboard 2-1 in Sadler’s favor for now, with the Statesman and the Star-Telegram still to go.