"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise."
Last night, we were war gaming various scenarios for the 2018 primaries with a knowledgeable source. With Ted Cruz running for re-election, we started speculating about whom the big money crowd could run against him. What follows is not an exact transcription, but is a reasonably accurate paraphrase of the conversation:
Source: The thing is, if you're going to run against Ted Cruz in a Republican primary in Texas in a midterm year, you'd have to be both incredibly arrogant and incredibly stupid; who fits that bill?!?It just makes too much dadgum sense.
Cahnman's Musings: What about Dan Branch?!?
Source: You know...[another long pause]...I think you may be onto something.
Dan Branch works with the Law Firm Winestead PC. Winestead PC does business with the Export-Import 'bank.' Ted Cruz led the fight to shut down the Ex-Im 'bank.'
It's also an open secret around the Capitol that Dan Branch loathes Ted Cruz. Branch can't stand the fact that Cruz has derailed his political plans multiple times. Most recently, Ted Cruz praised Ken Paxton during the latter's successful 2014 Attorney General campaign against Branch.
In his 2015 book, A Time for Truth, Cruz recounts a 2009 conversation with Karl Rove during his aborted run for Attorney General:
It turned out Rove was in the process of helping raise money for the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas. Texas donors were giving the Bushes tens of millions, including major donors who were supporting the Dallas state rep who wanted to run for Attorney General. Those donors were now berating Karl. (190)The state rep to which that quote refers is Dan Branch. This was briefly an issue during Cruz's presidential campaign. You can learn the full history of that incident here.
George W. Bush gave BIG money to Branch's 2014 A.G. campaign and it's likewise not a secret that Dubya "just doesn't like" Cruz.
Furthermore, Branch is from Dallas. Cruz is from Houston. So it also makes sense from the perspective of the region vs. region dynamic that sometimes emerges in statewide races.
Branch remains the liberal he's always been. But the Washington cartel and the big money crowd in Dallas and Austin hate Cruz enough that you've got to imagine they'll find some yutz to run against him. And Dan Branch might just be the yutz they're looking for....
Bottom Line: For now, this is just informed speculation, but it just makes sooooooooooooooooooooooo much sense.