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Ted Cruz will stump for Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on Wednesday, proving that even gadflies become team players when the majority is at stake. And Blunt could use the help. (AP Photo)

Hated on Capitol Hill, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz remains beloved outside of the beltway for his habit of hamstringing both Democrats and Republicans. But now Mr. Conservative is stumping for the Washington Cartel he despises.

The conservative populist will stump for Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on Wednesday, proving that even gadflies become team players when the majority is at stake. And Blunt could use the help.

Blunt is nursing a single-point lead against an aggressive Democrat challenger, Jason Kander. The seat at play is considered critical to Republican hopes of holding the upper chamber. The presence of the conservative populist might be enough to push Blunt across the finish line.

This isn’t the first time Cruz has gone to the mat for establishment Republicans though.

After losing the Republican primary to Donald Trump, he fundraised for half a dozen at-risk GOP senators. After that, he flew to Colorado and Nevada to lend his star power to Senate hopefuls Darryl Glenn and Rep. Joe Heck.

If the Senate stays red, no one can say that Cruz didn’t do his part in the end. But while the Texan seems ready to bury the hatchet with the establishment, he’s going to have to dig deep, because it’s covered with plenty of bad blood.

The conservative filibustered a GOP bill to raise the debt ceiling, forced Republicans’ hand during the government shutdown and called his own majority leader a liar on the Senate floor. It’s not the resume one expects from a man seeking the party’s nomination in 2020, and that why Cruz’s next four years (including his 2018 re-election race) are so important.

Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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