After the amazing Ted Cruz triumph over Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, a couple political Twitterati including Rick Wilson and David Weigel mused that success has 1000 fathers . The implication, of course, that everyone wants to share in the success and no one wants to admit they were part of a losing effort.
That’s true, of course. As I tweeted: Winning > Losing. And it’s fun to be on the winning side.
In thinking about Ted Cruz’ win, though, his success really did have a thousand fathers. More, actually.
I could probably list 100 people, easily, who put it on the line, and early, for Ted Cruz. I’ll admit I came on board after Jim DeMint because of my love for both Michael Williams and Ted Cruz. Both are great conservatives. It was a matter of who could win. It didn’t take long for Ted to demonstrate that he was the guy.
Jim DeMint lead the way. Mike Lee pushed everyone far and wide for Ted. But that really wasn’t the beginning.
Ted Cruz spoke at Texas Americans for Prosperity events and was introduced to grassroots there. After that, Ted did the hard work of attending CPACs, multiple Tea Parties, and all sorts of conservative gatherings.
Every Texas Tea Party leader and many tea partiers themselves knew Ted personally. He and his campaign manager John Drogin gutted it up day in and day out doing the hard politicking that it takes to win when you don’t have millions to burn.
Club for Growth, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin [her analysis here], to name a few, came in and fortified and energized Cruz supporters, pushing Cruz enough to rob Dewhurst of the primary victory and forcing a run-off.
And here is why Citizen United is so very, very important: Without SuperPACs, incumbents are nearly untouchable.
How many important donors could give to these PACs and not risk the wrath of the very powerful powers-that-be? Many. Otherwise, they’d have to curry favor with someone like the Lt. Governor or sit on the sidelines for fear of losing and being punished for disloyalty.
PACS give donors both big and small the ability to fight for politicians who represent them without fear of reprisal should their fight be lost.
So, Ted Cruz success had thousands of fathers, but mostly Ted Cruz succeeded because he is a great candidate, the right man for the time, and worked his tail off doing the old fashioned work of politics — earning one vote at at time.
Ted’s victory speech here.