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Angela M. Odom

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Ted Cruz Case Study: What Do You Expect of Your Leaders?

2021 case study podcast Feb 23, 2021

QUESTION: What do we expect of people who are in positions of power and authority?  

During this unscientific case study, we'll take the facts surrounding a high profile elected officials’ decisions prior to, during and after he decided to fly to Cancun, Mexico.

Mr Cruz, a high-profile Republican who ran for the US presidency in 2016, has not only drawn criticism for taking the international trip, but also for reportedly leaving his dog, Snowflake, behind.


As stated by Wikipedia,  a case study involves an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a particular case or cases, within a real-world context. For example, case studies in medicine may focus on an individual patient or ailment; case studies in business might cover a particular firm's strategy or a broader market; similarly, case studies in politics can range from a narrow happening over time (e.g., a specific political campaign) to an enormous undertaking (e.g., a World War).

Generally, a case study can highlight nearly any individual, group, organization, event, belief system, or action. A case study does not necessarily have to be N=1 but may include more than a single case (one or multiple individuals and entities across multiple time periods, all within the same case study). 



 Amongst the backdrop of a global pandemic, a visceral November 3, 2020 general election, where former President Donald J. Trump lost to the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden and subsequently refused to acknowledge the loss and inspired some of his supporters to storm the capital in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to overturn the will of the people to remain in office indefinitely.

Ted Cruz was one six US Senators to reject the electoral college’s vote on January 6th after the insurrectionists stormed the US capital. Trump called on his supporters to come to Washington D.C. on January 6, on the day that Congress was counting the electoral votes.

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, began on February 9, 2021, and concluded with his acquittal on Saturday, February 13. Trump had been impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives on January 13, 2021



 Ted Cruz is one of two US Senators who represent Texas. 

The United States Senate has 100 senators

 Senators represent the interests of their states’ citizens, write and support legislation and vote on bills. They divide their time between their home states and Washington, D.C., and spend considerable time meeting with constituents and fellow lawmakers and attending Senate sessions.


 First spotted at an airport by a social media user who posted his photo, there was an immediate outcry overnight that a U.S. senator would travel out of the state amid the worst storm in many Texans' lifetimes.

Typically, in a disaster, a federal officeholder's primary role is to communicate to the federal branch — including the president — the immediate needs of the district or state. The first official move for a U.S. senator is to send a letter to the president after a governor makes a request for a federal emergency disaster declaration. Cruz and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wrote such a letter on Feb. 14.

In the throes of a crisis, the onus of executing aid is mostly on a state's governor. But, as state leaders, senators often help coordinate relief efforts with other public officials, engage in a public information campaign and great care is taken to ensure the senator is in the public eye and showing concern.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz returned to Texas on Thursday and expressed regret for his trip to Cancún, Mexico after being chastised by both Republicans and Democrats for leaving his state as it buckles under the severe effects of a devastating winter storm.

"Look, it was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn't have done it," he said.

Cruz, known to double down in the face of controversy, was contrite in an interview with Houston affiliate KTRK where he acknowledged the gravity of criticism coming his way both within the state and beyond.


Some of his supporters and people defending him asked a great question, "What do you expect him to do?" 

  •  Beta O'Rourke, the man who lost the election to Ted Cruz in 2018, activated a calling tree to check on Texans. Apparently, they found a man who hadn't eaten in a couple of days. 
  •  Two Texas US Representatives held a press conference on the steps of the food bank to announce that the high profile US Representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez raised $3 million dollars. 100% will go directly to 10 charities that support Texas

 QUESTION: What do we expect from people in positions of power and authority?

  • Transparency
  • Truthfulness
  • Empathize
  • Get Results
  • Be Optimistic
  • Fight on our behalf 

Within the Better U community we take pride in learning from other people's experiences to grow our skills and leadership capacity.

Action Steps: Answer the question as if you are the person in "hot seat". What do your teammates expect of you? 

I'm rooting for you!

Angela M. Odom, Your Leadership Coach


Angela M. Odom is a life and leadership coach, founder of The Better U Project brand, podcast host, proud Army veteran and the author of BRONCO STRONG: A Memoir of the Last Deployed Personnel Services Battalion and a contributing author to the book, "Camouflaged Sisters: Leadership Through The Eyes of Senior Military Women Leaders". 

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