Commentary from Jim Hightower

Texas Senate Race : Democratic Dud

Monday, June 14, 1993   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Jim Hightower saying the national pundits would have you believe the special-U.S. Senate election we just had in Texas was actually a referendum on Bill Clinton's presidency.

In a word: Horse-hockey!

The media's ignoring one rather critical factor in our election: The Democrat was a Dud!

An amiable dud. A very intelligent dud. An experienced dud, too -- he'd already lost twice in races for the U.S. Senate.

Bob Krueger is his name -- appointed interim senator by Gov. Ann Richards. Krueger lost to the Republican not because of Bill Clinton's unpopularity -- but because Krueger simply wasn't a stand-up, working-people's Democrat capable of making anyone want to vote for him.

On election night, Gov. Richards seemed befuddled, saying, "There was no visible interest [in Krueger] and I can't say why."

Ann, Ann, Ann. Here's why: In a state that puts jalape¤os on its breakfast eggs, Krueger is oatmeal. Richards appointed him because he was conservative enough to appeal to big-money interests and wouldn't offend conservative voters. So, campaigning as a "Radical Moderate" -- meaning he'd run over his grandmother to get to the middle-of-the-road -- Krueger had zilch appeal to the millions of Texans worried about our economy, our poor, or to those who care about our state's abysmal environmental record.

In effect, there was no Democrat in this race, so usual-Democratic voters stayed home in droves . . . and Krueger became Republican road-kill.

The tale is in the numbers. Less than 14% of eligible voters bothered. The Republicans simply got their usual million voters to the polls, while the Democrats had their worst turnout in memory.

This is Jim Hightower saying . . . The silence of the folks who stayed home, shouts a message: Send us a REAL Democrat, or don't bother sending one at all.

New York Times - June 3, 1993
Austin American-Statesman - June 6, 1993

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