Hines praises a Republican!

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The Chronicle‘s D.C. bureau may be realizing that to be relevant in its reporting (and to stay open), it really needs to work on improving its access to the governing majority in Washington.

That’s the best explanation we could come up with for Samantha Levine’s fawning piece earlier this week on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s new communications director.

And that’s the best explanation we can come up with for a glowing profile of Rep. Kevin Brady (R) by Cragg Hines, the Chronicle‘s Washington-based lefty editorialist who once whined in a column that he was being maligned by a right-wing coven of bloggers.

When Kevin Brady moved from a suburban Houston seat in the state Legislature to one in the U.S. House as a result of the 1996 elections, his reputation preceded him. Democratic colleagues as well as his fellow Republicans, not to mention Austin lobbyists of various stripe and interests, sent word ahead to Washington that here was “a serious legislator.”

Cragg Hines

That was good news and bad news for a then-41-year-old Brady. Even in the less-seniority-bound House that resulted from the Republican takeover in 1994, moving up would take time and could fuel personal frustration. It would probably be awhile before even the most conscientious talent would be recognized.

Because of the election jumble in Texas in 1996, caused by court-ordered redistricting, Brady arrived later than almost any of his freshman colleagues and drew none-too-inspiring committee assignments.

Brady could have allowed himself to become restive and jaded, but, to use the polite portion of an old Texas political expression, he made chicken salad.

The rest of the piece is really quite complimentary.

We would only note that Mr. Hines and/or his editor(s) might want to revisit the usage rules for “awhile” and “a while.”

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Kevin Whited
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