Move over John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell – it looks like you don’t have the cojones to lead Ted Cruz…
Suddenly it seems the pundit columns are filled with the face and name of the freshman Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. In just the last week, we’ve been treated to hundreds of column inches on whether Canadian-born Cruz can technically run for President, whether he’s Hispanic enough and how much he gets the establishment’s goat. We’ve seen pieces wondering whether Cruz trusts Paul Ryan to not back down on a Cruz budget agenda, and asking whether Rand Paul is more conservative than his possible 2016 rival! He’s even been compared to Obama. The man has become a legend in his own lunchtime.
On a bipartisan basis, every item seems to regard him as the new leader of the Republican Party – able to talk with authority as if what he wants he will get. He wants any path to citizenship in immigration reform legislation, and can actually warn “that if his amendments are not adopted, the Republican-controlled House will scuttle the legislation” and be taken seriously. No-one asks Boehner “Is that a fact?” The blogosphere and Twitter go nuts when he sends out a stupid photo-meme taunting President Obama on a visit to Texas – as if he were engaged in a presidential campaign against the incumbent.
Cruz has been handed key posts like the vice-chairmanship of the influential National Republican Senatorial Committee without having any kind of track record at the national level. He sits on five Congressional committees and a host of sub-committees. There’s no doubt he’s a very successful lawyer and well imbedded into the Texas Republican apparatus after being the longest-serving Solicitor General in Texan history – but is he really that good without national seasoning?
At this rate, it won’t be long before we can tell the old Thatcher joke about Ted instead.
Ted Cruz takes John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell to lunch. The waiter asks Cruz what he wants to order. ‘Steak, rare”, says Cruz. The waiter then asks, “And the vegetables?” “Oh, they’ll have steak too,” Cruz answers.
Or maybe – and I’m inclined to think this is correct – Ted Cruz is just a flash in the pan and by 2016 will be just another establishment Republican hack. No-one can take this white-hot glare of publicity while saying such outrageously hard-line things and still be electable two years later…