When I moved to Austin in 2002, one of the first things I did to acclimate myself to Texas was visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
I remember standing on the second floor, staring at the statue of the man whose name was chiseled onto the side of the building. Then I started to read his history on the plaque at the base of the statue to see just how long he’d been governor or U.S. senator.
That’s when I discovered Bob Bullock had only been lieutenant governor.
“Lieutenant governor is basically the vice president of the United States,” UT Law Professor Hugh Brady says.
“They only thing he has to do is preside over the Texas Senate. And I guess he doesn’t even have to do that if he doesn’t want to,” he says. “But all the lieutenant governors have.”
Brady correctly notes that Bob Bullock was no ordinary lieutenant governor. Bullock could move mountains out of that office. But his ability to do so didn’t come from any constitutional powers.