The eyes of Texas are upon you! What will you do? (ap photo)
Like office colleagues circulating a get-well card, Texas' 20 Republican House members signed a letter urging -- nay, begging -- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to stick it out with them and not resign her seat this year. Reports the great Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News:
The letter reflects the uncertainty about Hutchison's plans and the tremors she would trigger by resigning with 33 months left in her term. It also helps offer a face-saving way to set aside her vow to resign after the March 2 primary, win or lose, once the health care debate ends.
"This is not a 'political cover' letter. It's not a grandstanding letter," (Rep. Joe) Barton said. "Texas needs her. There are many qualified people who could be a senator from Texas – myself included – but I don't think any of us are ready to step in and immediately be as effective as she is now."
KBH, once the most popular politician in Texas, lost a primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry. She's never loved the Senate and has wanted to move back to Texas -- preferably, into the relatively easy governor's job -- for awhile now.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram lists Barton among those who might run for Hutchison's seat if she resigns. Former Texas Comptroller John Sharp, a Democrat, is leading the money chase with $3.9 million in the bank. Hutchison declined to comment to the Morning News on the poignant mash note from House Republicans, as Texas awaits her decision.
The letter lauds Hutchison's "unmatched record of service" and praises her for fighting to protect Texas military bases and to overturn the "marriage income tax penalty" and the handgun ban in Washington, D.C.
"We hope you realize how necessary your continued service in the U.S. Senate is, for Texas and for our country," the lawmakers wrote.
Sniff! And you're wicked pretty and smart and we luv you 4evah!