The chief objections to Cruz from conservative and Republican insiders boil down to three things: 1) They just don’t like him. 2) They don’t think he’s electable. 3) They think he’d be just as much of a self-interested pain in the butt as president as he has been as a senator. Let’s look at all three in order.
The truth is probably somewhere in between. There are people who’ve known Cruz for years and hate him, and there are people who’ve known him for years and love him. I’ve found him perfectly pleasant and engaging in conversation. But pretty much everyone respects his intellect. Cruz is simply one of the smartest people in Washington.
He missed one thing: the black swan known as Donald Trump. Cruz brilliantly made his bed, and Trump leapt into it when Cruz wasn’t looking.
Still, Cruz has been the only candidate to effectively respond to Trump and is arguably the only one that many Trump supporters could live with as an alternative.
The point here is that Cruz, for all his apparent rigidity, is actually a remarkably nimble and capable politician. The assumption that he couldn’t beat Clinton isn’t just belied by the polls, but by the fact that Cruz has shown a mercenary’s willingness to do what it takes to win (and I mean that as a compliment).
And then there’s the worry about a President Cruz. This is what I worry about least.
This has been a year where a lot of good and honorable people have had to swallow their pride. The trough isn’t empty yet, and many more may need to belly up for seconds if they want to save the GOP.
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