Dithering" has become something of an operative word in Washington these days.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney used the word the other day to describe the delay in President Obama's decision on what to do about the Afghanistan war.
It might also become a term to describe how U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is refusing to reveal when - or even if - she plans to resign her Senate seat to devote her time to running for the Republican nomination for Texas governor.
A lot of potential candidates for public office have been effectively frozen in place by her non-decision.
It's time for the senator to play her hand.
Hutchison has a major hurdle to clear if she intends to defeat Gov. Rick Perry in next spring's Republican primary. It's going to require her full attention if she intends to win.
Meanwhile, the state's U.S. Senate business needs two full-time lawmakers on the job.
And what about those who might want to run for the Senate seat she would give up? Perry would appoint a successor to serve until a special election takes place to choose someone to serve until the end of Hutchison's term.
On a recent visit to Amarillo, Comptroller Susan Combs noted that Hutchison's reluctance to declare her intentions has stymied the political plans of a lot of public officials. Combs said emphatically that she isn't one of them, that she is running for re-election as the state's top accountant.
Hutchison, of course, doesn't owe her fellow potential or actual candidates anything. She must do what she believes is in the best interests of Texas.
She has declared her intention to leave office before the end of her term. The time has come for Hutchison to make the move so that she can campaign full time - and so that Texas can have two senators on the job on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Hutchison certainly doesn't want to be accused of "dithering."
Now that Rep. Dan Branch is running for re-election to his District 108 House seat, candidate with hopes of replacing him have suspended their campaigns.
Branch, R-Dallas, had considered a run for attorney general, but was forced to shift gears when it became apparent that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would not resign her post in time to create the once expected domino effect.
Dallas ranch broker Bryan Pickens and businesswoman Lisa Luby Ryan were among the candidates looking to run in the GOP primary, if Branch had opted to campaign for attorney general.