I recently went to hear Democratic Senate nominee Paul Sadler speak to the Dallas Democratic Forum. I was impressed. Hereâs why:
1. Sadler started off talking about the work that Kay Bailey Hutchison has done for Texas. Yes, thatâs right: Republican Hutchison.
Mind you, he was talking to a Democratic audience. But Sadler explained how she had worked on numerous projects to improve our state. And she had done so beyond party lines.
He specifically discussed her work to help El Paso build a desalination plant so that it could have long-term water supplies. Sadler said she worked with Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes on the project, which allowed the city to save and expand Fort Bliss.
2. In emphasizing her work, Sadler clearly was contrasting himself with Republican nominee Ted Cruz, who has become an overnight national sensation since getting the GOP nod in July. I thought Sadler had a good line in saying that he didnât want to lead a national movement, he just wanted to be an effective senator for Texas. The jab was right at Cruz, who has been on national talk shows, appeared at both conventions and has graced the pages of national magazines.
3. Sadler delivered another good jab when he started dissecting Cruzâs desire to abolish a bunch of federal agencies. When it came to the Commerce Department, Sadler rhetorically asked whether it would be such a swell idea to abolish the National Weather Service. Whatâs going to happen the next time a hurricane starts brewing in the Gulf? he asked. His point was direct: There are functions of government we need, even if tea partiers would like to dismantle Washington.
4. Sadler closed with a moving story about a boy who had been in a room next to his son at Childrenâs Medical Center many years ago. The boy was so maimed no one knew who his name and the young guy couldnât tell them. As a result, no one came to visit him. More of a problem, there was no way the kid could afford his bills. Sadler remined the audience that situations like his is why we need a program like Medicaid, which some hardliners would like to restrict.
There are good reasons the smart money is on Cruz. He just demolished David Dewhurst to get the nomination. Heâs hard-right in a Republican state. And Barack Obama is on the November ballot, giving the tea party a strong reason to vote.
But Sadler handled himself well the other day. And he is not running as a left-wing Democrat. At the very least, heâs warning Texas about what may happen if the state elects someone who appears more interested in the national stage than Texas.
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