US Presidential Candidate
Notes from Evan Smith
"When Phil Gramm quit his U.S. Senate seat in December 2002, it was assumed by the man elected to replace him the month before -- Attorney General John Cornyn.
Tall and silver-haired, with what can be fairly described as regal bearing, 53-year-old Cornyn glided into place into alongside Kay Bailey Hutchison as one of the most powerful Texans in a town crawling with them. Within a year, Cornyn was chosen by the Republican leadership to be Deputy Whip, but it's the informal role he's played, as a loyal and tireless defender of the president, and of the president's appointees, that has been the real source of his power. And in true Washington payback fashion, the buzz is that he may get a plum appointment himself, possibly to the Supreme Court, should a third opening preseent itself on George W. Bush's watch. Born in Houston, educated at Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio and the University of Virginia Law School, Cornyn served for six years as a state district judge until his election to the Texas Supreme Court in 1990.
He resigned that seat in 1997 to run for attorney general, and became the first Republican to win that office since Reconstruction. In 2002, he handily defeated former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk is a marquee matchup to succeed Gramm. And there he remains, entering year three in the job, reliably conservative in a conservative state, safely ensconced -- until something bigger comes along." - Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 1.5.06