Like everybody else, Sen. John Cornyn has no idea what his senior colleague in the Senate is going to do. And also like the rest of us, or at least us bloggers, he’s willing to speculate wildly about it in public.
Cornyn, who also chairs the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee, has pleaded with her not to resign early. After all, if there’s a special election to replace Hutchison, Democrats would have a golden opportunity to pick up the seat, with a strong field including Houston Mayor Bill White and ex-Comptroller John Sharp. Cornyn would rather be safe than have to spend millions playing defense.
With only 40 Republicans in the Senate and the soap opera in Minnesota almost surely a lost cause, Cornyn doesn’t want to risk any more GOP-held spots any sooner than necessary.
“We certainly can’t afford to lose that [Hutchison] seat,” he said.
But the National Republican Senatorial Committee boss says he’s wary of White, who is “running a very serious race” and has raised gobs of campaign cash.
“He’s definitely on my radar,” Cornyn said.
With all the jockeying already going on in the Senate race to replace Hutchison, when does he think she will resign her seat?
“My guess,” he told Texas reporters at his Senate office today, is that Hutchison will resign “this fall sometime.”
That would allow Perry to appoint an interim senator and allow a special election to take place in May 2010 instead of this November (which would happen if she resigned this spring or summer).
But Cornyn readily admits that he has no inside info.
“There’s only one person who knows,” the San Antonio Republican said, “and it’s not me.”
Familiar sentiment, no? I’ll say again, I think she stays because she doesn’t want Rick Perry to appoint a replacement, but who knows? Join the club, John.