Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service students Tiffany Easter and Keri Weinman captured a moment of political civility this week in a now-viral Facebook post when US Senator Ted Cruz had a chance meeting with defeated Senate opponent, US Representative Beto O’Rourke, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The students were on the same flight to Washington, DC, as O’Rourke and Cruz and saw the two meeting for the first time since the election.
“It was such a unique opportunity and one that people all around us took note of,” Easter said. “Senator Cruz came up to the gate and took a seat, and then we noticed Congressman O’Rourke sitting nearby. One of the passengers went over to introduce himself to Congressman O’Rourke, and then before we knew it, O’Rourke was making his way to Senator Cruz. He shook his hand and congratulated him on his re-election. They wished each other luck and talked about the way to help and move forward.”
O’Rourke and Cruz then shook hands with Easter and Weinman, and asked who they were and what they were doing.
“We, of course, told them that we were students at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M and that, like our friends and classmates, we had followed the election closely,” Easter said. “Keri and I thanked them for engaging with us and encouraging and inspiring so many people to be involved in the election process this year.”
“The Texas Senate race was one of the most contested and most watched in the nation,” Easter said in a Facebook post. “Today we literally watched them come together. This is America. This is good. This is wholesome. This is why I love and do what I do. The humility y’all. I’m in awe.”
“It was definitely an inspiring encounter that reminded us that at the end of the day, we’re all Americans, and we have to find ways to come together,” said Easter.