Tom DeLay has friends in high places, sort of

The vice president stands by his man, but why didn't the Republican senators from Texas join him?

By Tim Grieve

Published December 6, 2005 2:00PM (EST)

We don't know exactly what Dick Cheney said when he appeared at a fundraiser on behalf of Tom DeLay in Houston last night -- reporters were prohibited from hearing the vice president speak -- but one partisan who was in attendance gives the Houston Chronicle the high points: "Cheney expressed deep friendship for Mr. DeLay," Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs tells the paper. "He wanted everyone to know he valued the support Mr. DeLay has shown to the president and vice president in both the good times and difficult times. He's not a fair-weather friend."

The Chronicle says that Cheney's appearance in Houston proves that -- despite his indictment on money laundering charges, his role in the Jack Abramoff case and poll numbers showing that only 36 percent of his constituents would vote to re-elect him against an unspecified Democrat -- DeLay "still has powerful allies and can call on help when needed."

Maybe. As the Associated Press notes, Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison were scheduled to attend last night's fundraiser but chose to stay in Washington for a White House Christmas dinner instead.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Dick Cheney John Cornyn R-texas Kay Bailey Hutchison R-tex.