Posted: April 22, 2016; updated: April 23, 2016


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

If Ted Cruz were to say he owes his presidential dreams all to his mother, it would be true. Really, really true.

Cruz came into the presidential race with his very own "birther" controversy. Unlike President Obama, who was not born in a foreign land, namely, Kenya, as the birther conspiracy had it, but in Hawaii, Cruz actually was.

Cruz was born in 1970 in Canada. His eligibility to run for the Republican presidential nomination as a "natural born citizen" clearly does not flow from his birthplace, or from his father, who was born in Cuba, but from his mother.

Cruz's mother came into this life as a Delawarean, named Eleanor Darragh, when she was born in 1934. In Wilmington. In St. Francis Hospital.

Her birth certificate is posted on Cruz's campaign Web site:

Cruz was planning on being in town, along with his 81-year-old mother, on Monday in recognition of his local connections, but the visit fell through.

The word came from Ellen Barrosse, the Republican national committeewoman who has endorsed Cruz. She spoke with him earlier this week when he held a series of sessions with Republican National Committee members while they were meeting in Florida.

There would have been nothing subtle about Cruz's timing, not with Delaware's presidential primary scheduled for the next day.

The birth certificate indicates Cruz's mother was born into modest circumstances as the daughter of Edward Darragh, a clerk for the Reading Railroad, and Elizabeth Cekine, a housewife, but Cruz told Barrosse that his mother's background was actually a little more colorful than that.

Family lore depicts Cruz's maternal grandfather as a bookie with the willing consent of his grandmother, who would carry around two bowls nested together, one filled with soup and the other one concealing the betting slips.

Only in America can the son of a Cuban and the grandson of a bookie grow up to run for president.