On Ted Cruz Running

As someone who watched most (really, it was too long) of Cruz’s speed at Liberty U, I have to agree with Charles W. Cooke about Cruz:

And yet, I hated every single moment of the address. Why? Well, because for all his obvious talent Cruz’s rhetorical style frankly makes my hair curl a little. Striking a pose that lands somewhere between the oleaginousness of a Joel Osteen and the self-assuredness of a midwestern vacuum-cleaner salesman, Cruz delivers his speeches as might a mass-market motivational speaker in an Atlantic City Convention Center.

Opening your campaign at Liberty U doesn’t signal to me. Well, it does, but not the benefit of Ted Cruz. I’m still leaning Walker. Tactically, I think Cruz was smart coming out early. He’ll consolidate a lot of support around him that might otherwise go to Huckabee, Santorum, or some of the other culture warriors who may enter the race.

It’s probably important for Walker to win the Iowa Caucuses. That’s probably why he’ll pander. Iowa is a neighboring mid-western state, and a loss there will signal Walker can’t find traction even among his own people. Rand might give Walker a run for his money in New Hampshire and Colorado, and non-southern politicians typically don’t do well in southern primaries, so South Carolina isn’t a sure thing either.

Still, we’re a year away from the start of the silly season, and Putin could get a lot more frisky, the middle east could be an even bigger mess, the economy could tank again, and all that could change the dynamic of the race.

18 Responses to “On Ted Cruz Running”

  1. emdfl says:

    Ol’ Charlie sounds as if he will(as usual) be pulling for the usual “moderate”(liberal) repub loser; se Dole, McCain, Romney, etc.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      He seems like a pragmatist based on the radio interview I heard him do a few weeks ago, but I think above all he seems more like a realist regarding who can make it through a GOP primary unscathed. I see him going for someone like Scott Walker, but not really rallying for much of anyone until the establishment gets their pick.

      I really think Scott’s the one to beat. If O’Malley is the Dem pick, then we have two two-term governors as formidable candidates. Christie is already turning out to be a bottom tier candidate. I think the GOP race is between Jeb Bush and Scott Walker now. The good news for us is that the top tier candidates in the GOP in 2016 are pro-gun which we did not have before. As was mentioned by Sebastian before, this is a great development for gun rights.

  2. Peter O says:

    If he can keep Santorum and Huckabee off the stage, even if he otherwise runs the straight so-con playbook, I’m all for it. He’s 10x more eloquent, and probably won’t piss me off the Huckabee does.

  3. Patrick says:

    Like you, I tried to listen to the whole “Imagining” of Cruz’s announcement. Unfortunately I found myself “imagining” I was somewhere else. I respect Cruz – he is a brilliant man – but he could have condensed the first 20 minutes of that thing into about 5 and had more impact on me.

    But then again, I don’t think he was aiming his announcement at me.

  4. Arnie says:

    Although I like Cruz’s stands and take-no-prisoners rhetoric on Obamacare and executive amnesty, Walker has proven he can actually get good things done even in a Blue State against enormous national opposition. Unless he has some skeletons hidden in his closet, Walker is my man.
    Respectfully, Arnie

    • Archer says:

      That’s where I’m sitting, too. I like Cruz and many of his positions, but I like Walker and his positions, too, and Walker comes across as the real deal. Two terms as governor spent bettering the lives of his constituents, facing down enormous opposition (from union bosses, no less) and a recall election (and winning), all in a blue state that’s supposed to be ideologically opposed to him.

      There’s a certain allure that comes with pissing off the right people.

  5. Dave says:

    I don’t think we’re done hearing from Mittens quite yet. Yes, he’s said he’s not running, but I think he might try a “half Perot” – do whatever he can to torpedo Jeb Bush and wound him enough to let the Dem walk into office. The Mittens wing of the party is STRONG. A lot stronger than our subset of the citizenry would like to admit.

    It remains to be seen where the ‘pubs will focus their financial support, and as a lobbyist put it last time around after all the republicans had been whittled down to Mittens – “It was always Mittens nomination to lose”. This is Jeb Bush’s nomination to lose, whether we like it or not because that appears to be where the Mittens money that was not previously committed has been redirected by the party, but over Mittens objection.

    If Bush is politically wounded early on, expect Mittens to sweep into the race to “save the party” in ’16. Of course, we know what this would mean, certain democratic presidency for at least 4 more years.

    I don’t know if the culture warriors or libertarian leaning candidates get social media and messaging yet, or if they can even command enough support to get solid financial backing. Maybe Cruz will do well, let’s hope he does.

  6. Patrick says:

    Hey, let’s all work like mad to get “our guy” ahead of the others, but agree that we will enthusiastically support whichever leads at the end.

    No more taking our ball and going home when “our guy” fails to make the final cut. The stakes are so high, I’d even campaign for Christie if we was the GOP pick.

    I admit I made made myself a little sick typing that.

    • Arnie says:

      Agreed. We cannot afford four more years of executive tyranny and traitors being appointed to the supreme Court. (Although Bush proved the GOP is no guarantee of avoiding the latter.)

    • Patrick H says:

      I won’t agree to that. If it’s Christie I’m not voting. I’d rather see the whole thing burn than reward that.

      • Sebastian says:

        I’d rather not see the whole thing burn, so I’d join Patrick. The time to vote for your favorite lesser evil is the primaries.

  7. Alien says:

    I’ll – sort of – second the motion on Cruz, and offer agreement – so far – for Walker. Recognizing there’s no such thing as A Perfect Candidate, Walker has positives.

    I doubt Cruz will get the nomination, although whomever does will need a VP, so who knows. I think the value Cruz brings is continuing to emphasize conservative positions, which offers the opportunity to drive everyone’s campaign to the right as they try to keep up, assuming Cruz can maintain sufficient momentum to do so. That remains to be seen, however, if for no other reason than we’re still prety early in the process.

    As for Bush, my opinion is that we got George twice only because in each case the other candidate was just so much worse. Looking at the Democrat bench, I predict that trend will continue.

  8. Clay says:

    I live in South Carolina and I am willing to bet that Scott Walker will do better than Huckabee. I say this because this time around Huckabee is making a complete fool out of himself by pretending to be the most southern fried candidate since Jefferson Davis and all the South Carolina republicans really want is good conservative who can win. What we don’t want is a pandering dummy.

  9. Bakunin says:

    Here’s how I see things, vis-a-vis Cruz coming out early:

    There are any number of political networks out there, made up of people whose names you’ll never hear, but who make a living off of politics. Presidential campaigns are jobs programs for them. The candidate needs to support his people. One way he can create jobs, albeit temporary ones, is to run for president. Everybody from erstwhile “political consultants” to paper pushers and field operatives will be supported as long as the campaign can be dragged out, even if it is otherwise delusional. Even a small percentage of the population of the country is still thousands and thousands of check-writers.

    I suspect Cruz knows he hasn’t got a chance in hell of getting the nomination or becoming president; and if he thought he did, I would doubt he’d do his kick-off at Liberty University. But for the real purpose of his campaign, and in recognition of the persuasions of his most likely check-writers, he did exactly the right thing, pandering to exactly the right people. But, don’t think in terms of his fortunes in the primaries, beyond whatever strategy is required to maximize the life of his campaign and the employment of the networks who will depend on him.

    • Sebastian says:

      Yes. I agree with you. Very true. Though, I don’t think whether they have a chance or not is really of much concern to them. If they can use it to build a network they build power within the party/ideology.

  10. Cargosquid says:

    Cruz set the theme for the upcoming candidates.

    As for the speech…if he had substituted the word “Americans” for “conservative” in many cases, the speech would have worked better and appealed to a much vaster audience.

  11. emdfl says:

    Here’s the problem, boys and girls, there’s an awful lot of voters out here who:
    Might I call your attention to the election of 2012? Wanna see it again?