Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Admit it: you're wondering...

...two things this morning. First, what sort of guy is this Ted Cruz anyway? And second, who will his campaign for president affect the most?

You're not? Oh, well, humor me.

Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, has an interesting piece about Ted Cruz which he actually wrote about a year and a half ago. But it's still worth reading (my emphasis):

Well, it turns out Ted and I went to college together. And not just we happened to be at the same place at the same time. We were both at a pretty small part of a relatively small university. We both went to Princeton. I was one year ahead of him. But we were both in the same residential college, which basically meant a small cluster of dorms of freshmen and sophomores numbering four or five hundred students who all ate in the same dining hall.

My wife meanwhile was also in the same residential college and she was actually Ted's year - Class of 92.  She totally remembered Ted and basically as a conceited and fairly nerdy jerk.

I was curious. Was this just my wife who tends to be a get-along and go-along kind of person? So I started getting in touch with a lot of old friends and asking whether they remembered Ted. It was an experience really unlike I've ever had. Everybody I talked to - men and women, cool kids and nerds, conservative and liberal - started the conversation pretty much the same. 

"Ted? Oh yeah, immense a*#hole." Sometimes "total raging a#%hole." Sometimes other variations on the theme. But you get the idea. Very common reaction.

But that wasn't all. Before retelling this or that anecdote, there was one other thing that everybody said, "A really, really smart dude."

Bottom line? Cruz is a highly intelligent jerk.

And that leads into my next question: Who should fear a Ted Cruz candidacy the most?

Hillary Clinton? I don't think so. If the economy is still humming along a year from now she's in. If not, she's out. I don't think it matters a whole lot who the Republicans nominate.

But the rest of the Republican field, including the current frontrunners Jeb Bush and Scott Walker? Consider this from another piece in TPM this morning:

Where Cruz stands out is not his ideological principles — he shares common beliefs with many of his rivals — but his scorched-earth tactics in service of those principles, and his proclivity for painting fellow Republicans with tactical disagreements as capitulators.

Imagine: A really smart jerk who doesn't care what other people think who is also an expert debater. Do you think Cruz would hesitate for a second to fillet a couple of guys like wishy-washy Jeb or that dullard Walker in the GOP debates next fall? Even if he loses the nomination, he'll bloody them unlike anyone else in the race could. Those are the two guys who should be quaking in their boots right now.

But, then again, it probably doesn't matter. Remember, it's the economy, stupid. (But it will be fun to watch.)

1 comment:

Everyday Normal Guy said...

I agree with everything, unless Cruz is positioning himself for a Vice Presidential ticket. Granted, I don't think Cruz is the kind of guy to go for second place, but neither was Dick Cheney...if Cruz thinks he can attach his wagon to malleable candidate like Cheney did and if Cruz thinks he might be able to run the show from the sidelines (Jeb looks malleable because he is a Buch and Walker does because he is a Koch puppet already), it will be interesting to see if he leaves one or candidates unscathed as a backup plan.