Bob Krueger

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Bob Krueger
Bob Krueger.jpg
United States Senator
from Texas
In office
January 21, 1993 – June 14, 1993
Appointed by Ann Richards
Preceded by Lloyd Bentsen
Succeeded by Kay Bailey Hutchison
10th United States Ambassador to Botswana
In office
July 13, 1996 – December 6, 1999
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Howard Franklin Jeter
Succeeded by John E. Lange
13th United States Ambassador to Burundi
In office
June 19, 1994 – September 10, 1995
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Cynthia Shepard Perry
Succeeded by Morris N. Hughes Jr.
Member of the Texas Railroad Commission
In office
January 3, 1991 – January 21, 1993
Governor Ann Richards
Preceded by Kent Hance
Succeeded by Mary Scott Nabers
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 21st district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by Ovie Clark Fisher
Succeeded by Tom Loeffler
Personal details
Born Robert Charles Krueger
(1935-09-19) September 19, 1935 (age 78)
New Braunfels, Texas
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Southern Methodist University (B.A.)

Duke University (M.A.) Merton College, Oxford (Doctor of Philosophy)

Profession Academician

Robert Charles Krueger ( Born September 19, 1935) is an American politician and former U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Texas, a former U.S. Ambassador, and a member of the Democratic Party. As of 2013, he is the last Democrat to serve as a Senator from Texas.

Early life[edit]

Born in New Braunfels, Texas, Krueger earned a B.A. from Southern Methodist University in 1957 and an M.A. from Duke University in 1958. He went to Merton College, Oxford, earning a D.Phil. in English literature in 1964. He taught English literature as a professor and was later vice provost and Dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. His edition of the poems of Sir John Davies was published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford, in 1975.

Political career[edit]

Krueger held business positions as chairman of the board of Comal Hosiery Mills and managing partner of the Krueger Brangus Ranch before entering elective office. Krueger was elected to the 94th and 95th United States Congresses, serving from January 3, 1975 to January 3, 1979. Krueger was initially elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Texas's 21st congressional district, then the largest congressional district in Texas, stretching from northern San Antonio to Big Bend National Park in far west Texas. Krueger was part of the large "Watergate Class" of 1974, many of whom were Democrats who owed their election to the scandal that brought the resignation of President Richard Nixon three months before the election. Of 92 freshmen elected that year, Krueger was voted "most effective" by his colleagues for his articulate advocacy of causes, particularly a sound national energy policy based upon his knowledge of the oil and gas industry in Texas. Krueger was reelected for a second House term in 1976 along with the election of Jimmy Carter as president, whose term was also marked by the development of an energy policy that included the creation of the Department of Energy as a Cabinet office.

Krueger's success as a congressman representing a large district in an important state led him to challenge incumbent Republican John Tower in 1978 for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas, but Krueger narrowly lost the contest by 0.3%. On October 23, 1979, Krueger was appointed by President Carter as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Mexican Affairs at the Department of State and served the remainder of the Carter presidency until February 1, 1981.

Krueger served in several academic lectureship positions at the University of North Texas (then known as North Texas State University), the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, Texas State University, and currently, Texas Tech University, following his service in federal government.

In 1984, he returned to Texas to run again for the U.S. Senate. Tower decided to retire but Krueger lost in the Democratic primary, caught in the middle between the more liberal State Senator Lloyd Doggett and the more conservative U.S. Representative Kent Hance. In 2010, Krueger's campaign was named by the Houston Chronicle as the ninth-worst in Texas' modern political history, saying: "Caught in the middle, Krueger seemed like a bland centrist facing a fiery liberal and a folksy conservative. He ended up finishing third, out of the runoff and out of luck." From 1985 to 1989, he also wrote a regular column on a broad range of public affairs issues, which was carried in newspapers in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Corpus Christi, Texas.

In 1990, Krueger returned to elective office in Texas, serving on the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulated oil and gas as well as the rail system in the state. In his candidacy, Krueger received the most votes of any contested candidate on the primary ballot of either major party and defeated his general election opponent by a 16 percent margin. A forceful advocate for alternative energy and trucking deregulation, Krueger was selected by Governor Ann Richards in 1993 to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Lloyd Bentsen, who became Secretary of the Treasury in President Clinton's cabinet. He served from January 21, 1993 until June 14, 1993. Owing to low overall voter turnout (only 8 percent among Democrats) and the relative unpopularity of Clinton in Texas, Krueger lost the June 1993 special election runoff for the remainder of the term ending January 4, 1995 by a 2-to-1 margin to the popular Texas State Treasurer, Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. In 2010, Krueger's campaign was named by the same Houston Chronicle article as the single worst in Texas' modern political history.[1]

Ambassadorial career[edit]

Capitalizing on Krueger's reputation and experience in diplomacy, President Clinton offered Krueger an ambassadorship following his short Senate career. Krueger let it be known he was not interested in "white gloves and chandeliers" but instead wanted to advance democratic interests in a developing country. Clinton thus named Krueger as Ambassador to Burundi, which had been beset with violence in recent preceding years and whose ethnic make-up was the same as that of adjoining Rwanda, whose Hutu and Tutsi tribes had experienced a bloody civil war only months before Krueger began his service in May 1994. His family was initially not allowed to join him in Burundi due to the threat of violence.

As the American emissary in a small country without much strategic voice, Krueger was constantly sought out by Burundi natives to draw attention to human rights abuses in the country, and Krueger did not shy away from expressing concern about those matters to either the Burundi government or the American public back in the United States, including during a Nightline interview with Ted Koppel. The outspoken Krueger served in Burundi until 1995, when his convoy was ambushed in Cibitoke province. He was traveling on a bare highway in Cibitoke, when gunmen with AK-47s attacked the motorcade, before being diverted by Diplomatic Security Service agents Chris Reilly and Larry Salmon.[2]

In 1996, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Botswana and concurrently Special Representative of the Secretary of State to the Southern African Development Community. He held those posts until 2000, when he became a Visiting Fellow at Merton College, Oxford, and began to write a memoir of his time in central Africa. It was published as From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi: Our Embassy Years during Genocide by the University of Texas Press in September 2007. [1]

Senator Krueger was also Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Mexican Affairs, October 23, 1979, to February 1, 1981 [2]

Family[edit]

Krueger is married to the former Kathleen Tobin of Bandera, Texas, who co-authored the book "From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi," and served two terms as a City Councillor in New Braunfels, Texas. As of 2012, she is campaigning for the office of County Commissioner. Krueger has two daughters, Mariana and Sarah (both Duke University graduates), and a son, Christian. Several years ago, Krueger and his family were the victims of a former employee, Thomas Humphrey, who stalked them. Their plight led to the passage of anti-stalking legislation in Texas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2010/03/our-list-the-ten-worst-campaign-in-modern-texas-political-history/
  2. ^ Katz, Samuel M. "Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists", 2002

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ovie Clark Fisher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 21st congressional district

1975–1979
Succeeded by
Tom Loeffler
Political offices
Preceded by
Kent Hance
Texas Railroad Commissioner
1991-1993
Succeeded by
Mary Scott Nabers
United States Senate
Preceded by
Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr.
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Texas
1993
Served alongside: Phil Gramm
Succeeded by
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Cynthia Shepard Perry
United States Ambassador to Burundi
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Morris N. Hughes Jr.
Preceded by
Howard Franklin Jeter
United States Ambassador to Botswana
1996–1999
Succeeded by
John E. Lange