Cornyn flattered, after the fact

Posted Saturday, Nov. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, found out that he was on a short list to be Gov. Mitt Romney‘s running mate when he read it in Double Down, a new book on the 2012 campaign.

“Interestingly enough, I was as surprised as you were, probably, to read my name on that list,” he told a Star-Telegram reporter during a weekly press call with Texas reporters. “I had no conversations with anyone about that.”

Cornyn is listed in the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann as having made the second cut of 11 possible candidates from an initial list of two dozen prospects. But then the list was cut further to five who were vetted, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and eventual choice Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit flattered to be on a list of distinguished Americans who Gov. Romney was considering for service as vice president,” Cornyn said. “But I was never contacted by the campaign. Didn’t ask to be considered. So I was surprised to see my name printed.”

So did he want the job?

“I’m sort of in the William [sic] Nance Garner school of vice presidents, how he considered the office of vice president,” he said. John Nance Garner was a Texan who was vice president for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first two terms and famously said that the vice presidency was “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Cornyn, who is the Senate minority whip, is up for re-election in 2014.

Back in Texas

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, was among the welcoming crew for President Barack Obama last week, when Air Force One touched down at Love Field in Dallas.

He stood with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, and others to greet the president.

“He was very happy to be back in Texas,” said Veasey, who noted he was pleased the president came to tout the healthcare program. “And he said he loves coming to Dallas because Mike is the mayor here.”

As Obama left to make a brief speech at Temple Emanu-El and attend two fundraisers, Veasey — who represents Congressional District 33, which stretches from Fort Worth to Dallas — had to head off to another event.

Meanwhile, Veasey’s former — and potentially future — challenger in the CD 33 race attended one of the fundraisers where Obama spoke. Former state Rep. Domingo Garcia, D-Dallas, and his wife, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, were present at the high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Dallas attorney Russell Budd.

Where are we?

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton wanted to make a point to health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

During a recent congressional hearing about the healthcare law, Barton and other Republicans tried to take her to task for problems with the plan and the website using references to a 1939 movie classic.

“In the Wizard of Oz, there is a great line,” Barton said. “Dorothy at some point in the movie turns to her little dog, Toto, and says, ‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.’

“While you’re from Kansas, we’re not in Kansas anymore,” he told Sebelius, a former Kansas governor. “Some might say we are actually in the Wizard of Oz land given the parallel universes we appear to be in.”

Other Republicans jumped in with Kansas and Wizard of Oz references, but U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, turned to a childhood tale.

“My Republican colleagues’ actions here remind me of a story I read when I was a little boy and that’s the story of Chicken Little who ran around yelling, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling,’” he said. “But unlike Chicken Little, my Republican colleagues are actually rooting for the sky to fall.”

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