FORT WORTH, Texas–“What’s the line for?” someone asked about the seemingly endless line meandering through the exhibit hall of the 2014 Republican Party of Texas (RPT) biennial convention. Attendees were wondering if it was a food line, or if someone giving away something really cool. But no, it was a line for an opportunity to have your photo taken with Texas’ favorite son, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
The massive “Cruz Crew” booth was already one of the big hits of the show with everyone wanting to come by and pick up their Cruz gear and meet the people who worked so hard to get Cruz elected less than two years ago. At the 2012 RPT Convention, Cruz had yet to even secure the party’s nomination as the runoff against Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was still over six weeks in the future.
At that time, the financially strapped campaign had a small 20′ booth along the side wall of the exhibit arena. What a difference a convention cycle can make. Cruz, now the junior senator from Texas, had a massive Texas-sized booth that was the place to be seen at the convention.
On Friday afternoon, Cruz was scheduled to be in the booth for a photo opportunity and a blogger round-table discussion. Over an hour before his appearance, people started staking out their position in line to have their photo taken with the man, who many believe might just be the next President of the United States.
Over the next two and one-half hours approximately 850 people made their way through the line and into the spot where they wanted to be, standing next to the Texas political super-star. About twelve seconds later, the moment was captured for eternity by camera and they were on their way out of the booth.
The “Cruz Crew” are becoming efficiency experts at running this kind of event. As the people would come up, the team would register the attendee and provide them with a box to store their bags and other personal items they were carrying. They were then whisked into place, the photo taken and on to retrieve their gear and the exit pathway.
In an interview with Breitbart Texas after the photo event, Sen. Cruz said he was humbled by the love and support he has been shown during the entire convention, but especially from those people, already tired from a grueling convention schedule who were willing to endure the long line for the very short photo-op.
Cruz would go on to win the 2014 RPT Presidential Straw Poll taking well over 43% of the vote in a very crowded field of potential candidates. One of the clearest statements made by the RPT conventioneers was that Ted Cruz is unarguably the most popular political figure in Texas.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.