John Ratcliffe is likely to be confirmed as the nation’s next director of national intelligence.
How and why that will happen is a mystery to me, given that he was nominated to the post in 2019 but then pulled out when questions arose about his resume, his background and intelligence-gathering credentials. I don’t believe Ratcliffe is any more qualified now to become DNI than he was a year ago … but that’s out of my control.
Meanwhile, the Fourth Congressional District of Northeast Texas that Ratcliffe represents needs to find a successor to Donald Trump’s fiery defender.
Republican activists have set an Aug. 8 election to select a successor. They have their favorites in mind.
The Fourth Congressional District is a reliably Republican stronghold. I am fascinated by that factoid, given that the district once was represented by the late, great House Speaker Sam Rayburn, the legendary Texas Democrat who mentored many members of Congress from this state, including one of them who later became president of the United States … a guy named Lyndon Baines Johnson.
That was then. The here and now suggests that the next member of Congress from this district will be a Donald Trump loyalist. The three favorites to succeed Ratcliffe, according to the Texas Tribune, are:
Jason Ross, Ratcliffe's former district chief of staff who is campaigning on continuing in Ratcliffe's footsteps, promising to "stay the course with a principled conservative and proven leader."
Floyd McLendon, the runner-up in the March primary for the Dallas-based 32nd Congressional District. McLendon, a former Navy SEAL, finished behind Genevieve Collins, who narrowly won outright in the five-way primary, capturing the nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, a national GOP target.
A third candidate is TC Manning, a Navy veteran who unsuccessfully ran in the March primary for the Houston-based 18th Congressional District.
Here is my major takeaway, though, from the Tribune’s reporting on these candidates. Two of the three top individuals are, dare I say it, “carpetbaggers.” McLendon and Manning ran in districts a good distance from the Fourth Congressional District. So they have decided that with an opening about to occur in Northeast Texas, they must figure it’s time to jump into the fray in a district where they might – or might not – have any knowledge of its specific needs.
Unless, of course, the prevailing “qualification” for service in this GOP bastion is a candidate’s commitment to Donald John Trump.
John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.
Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.