Hutchison signals move to TX


It has been pretty much a given that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) will give up her seat in the Senate and leadership role in the Commerce Committee to run for governor of her state – and now there’s a “sold” sign on her DC digs adding another piece of confirming evidence.

Incumbent Texas governor Rick Perry (R), who is trying for a third term, has held out hope that Hutchison wouldn’t really give up her Washington job, but most observers had held out little chance of that, and now the chances are even more remote.

The price for her house, across the Potomac in McLean VA, was reported at $1.4M – a nice piece of change, but $170K less than Hutchison and her husband paid in 2006, according to Politico.

Hutchison has been the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation since former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) stepped down to address legal issues and was ultimately defeated for re-election.

RBR-TVBR observation: Next in line for the Republicans in the committee is Olympia Snowe (R-ME), one of the last moderate Republicans in existence (in Washington, anyway), but she is said to have jeopardized her changes of moving up by voting with Democrats in support of the Max Baucus (D-MT) version of health care reform in the Senate Finance Committee.

She said at the time that her vote was merely to continue the moving the process forward, and indeed, Baucus did not require the vote to read his bill out of committee. So Snowe may still have time to repair her relations with her own caucus.

Behind her on the committee are John Ensign (R-NV), who has considerable scandal problems to deal with, and Jim DeMint (R-SC).

Commerce is traditionally a committee which handles more than its share of issues that do not necessarily break down along party lines – with broadcast and communications issues being a prime example – and it was only a few years ago when the Committee was run by maverick-in-chief himself, John McCain (R-AZ). So we don’t know, but we suspect that in the end, regardless what happens on health care, Snowe will get her shot here.