‘Cruz effect’ further empowering Texas grassroots

WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press
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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters as he emerges from the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept 25, 2013, after his overnight crusade railing against the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as "Obamacare." Cruz ended the marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama's health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters as he emerges from the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept 25, 2013, after his overnight crusade railing against the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” Cruz ended the marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama’s health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Ted Cruz’s talkathon on the U.S. Senate floor had no hope of legislative success. It largely boiled down to political performance art in Washington.

But for Texas politics, it could be transformative.

It’s energizing the state grassroots conservatives that already helped Cruz rise from electoral longshot to national star. It may ultimately prove a boon for other tea party-backed candidates waiting to follow in his footsteps.

While no one is expecting an army of Cruz clones, he may be a model for a certain type of confrontational conservatism back home.

Implications of that would stretch far beyond its own borders since Texas is the nation’s richest GOP donor state. It also has repeatedly been a cradle for Republican presidential candidates — perhaps even Cruz himself in 2016.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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