A noncombatant Republican, not a member, sent me this e-mail about several conversations Craddick had over the weekend with supporters, which were duly reported to my source: Over the weekend, there were some telephone calls made by Tom Craddick in which (according to the report from one of the people on the receiving end of a call) the Speaker sounded ‘worn out, tired, and despondent’ and that for the first time in several months, the Speaker was calling on others to ask them to report what that members were hearing, rather than the Speaker himself being the provider of news as to the current state of battle between the Speaker and the ABCs. It sounded like Tom Craddick for the first time in a long time, actually found himself to be somewhat out-of-the-loop and truly unaware as to who the ABCs plus the Dunnam D’s would unite their support behind on January 2nd and what it would mean to Craddick’s future it they are able to actually pull it off. The report I received was that the Speaker felt unsure as to how best to move forward between now and January 2nd because he has no credible intelligence to suggest who the consensus candidate might be. The Speaker did discuss additional filers for Speakers coming in the next few days. Further, both Chisum and Swinford had spoken to Smithee to see if the reports they were hearing were true and Smithee responded by saying that he was indeed seriously thinking about entering the Speaker’s race. Dan Gattis’s entry on Saturday means one fewer R vote for Craddick, while Smithee getting into the race would mean the dam is getting ready to bust the flood gates wide open and that Craddick is in serious jeopardy of losing dozens of current supporters. Craddick seemed unsure how to react—a unique position for a Speaker who is always operating from a well orchestrated script. I have somewhat edited this report to protect the innocent, and I cannot vouch for its accuracy, but my source has on several occasions provided me with very good information on what certain Republican members are thinking. I don’t think Craddick deserves to be reelected, but I can’t rejoice at this report. It’s sad.
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