Lone Star Political Clout Rides Into Sunset

After fifty years of political clout, Texas has lost its primacy as national king-maker
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 10:13 AM CST
Lone Star Political Clout Rides Into Sunset
In this Jan. 20, 2009, file photo, former President George W. Bush, left, gives the thumbs up as he departs Andrews Air Force Base, Md.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The booming voices of Texas politics have, for the first time in half a century, fallen silent, writes Bryan Burrough in the Washington Post. After vast deposits of oil wealth propelled Lone Star personalities like LBJ and both Bushes to the White House, as well as several influential leaders like Dick Armey and Tom DeLay into Congress, “the most visible Texan in Washington right now is probably the Libertarian Ron Paul.”

The fortunes of four principal oil-wealthy Texans launched the state into political power beginning in the ‘40s and ‘50s, culminating with the rise of Lyndon Johnson and continuing through to 2008. But, “the Bush administration's bonfire of the inanities has made being a Texan something you don't brag about,” Burrough writes. Still, if Texans are anything, it’s resilient. “So smile if you want. I'm telling you, they'll be back.”
(More Texas stories.)

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