With the imminent resignation of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Governor Rick Perry has the chance to make a game-changing interim appointment.
There are many good potential candidates to choose from, but among them, Governor Perry should give serious consideration to Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams.
Beyond the obvious point that Williams would be the only Republican African-American in Congress (Oklahoma's J.C. Watts was the last), he is a talented speaker (as I learned when I recently heard him speak at the RedState gathering in Atlanta, Georgia), who is well-versed on many of the issues today's Democrats think they own, such as energy and the environment, education and urban crime.
As an energy regulator for a decade (the title 'Railroad Commissioner' is misleading; it has more to do with energy), Williams could be a highly-credible spokesman on issues such as carbon cap and trade. He has also served as a local prosecutor and a United States Department of Justice prosecutor, and as a high-level aide for George H.W. Bush's Department of Education. In that capacity, he demonstrated a willingness to take heat when he argued against racial preferences in academic admissions.
As I noted earlier, Perry has some good candidates to choose from, including former secretary of state Roger Williams and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Whomever Perry picks as the interim senator will obviously have a leg-up on winning the special election to replace her.
... Michael Williams is one to watch.