Friday, April 3, 2015

Does Ted Cruz Have Bad Breath?

You'd expect that liberals would be foaming at the mouth at Ted Cruz's announcement last week that we was going to run for President of the United States, and you wouldn't be disappointed.

But why are so many conservatives badmouthing him? They seem to be suggesting that Ted Cruz doesn't have a hope of winning the nomination. And even if he did, he wouldn't have a hope of winning the election. Here's George Will disputing Cruz's electoral math:
By disdaining “the mushy middle,” Cruz evidently assumes that the electorate’s middle — lightly partisan and only mildly ideological — is too minuscule to matter.
The point is Pennsylvania.
Cruz, and all other Republican aspirants, must be measured against Pennsylvania. It is one of the 18 states that have voted Democratic in six consecutive elections and that, with the District of Columbia, total 242 electoral votes, and Pennsylvania was redder in 2012 than in 2008. Which Republican is most apt to flip Pennsylvania by accumulating large majorities in Philadelphia’s suburbs?
Then there's the hit on Cruz in the Senate. He's a mad bomber. Nobody likes him. Cruz can't work with other people.

Why is everyone ganging up on Cruz?

Look, everyone understands that the 2016 election will be won in the "five states that have been competitive since 1992 — Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia." You think Ted Cruz hasn't thought of that? You think he doesn't have a plan for winning those states? You think that Ted Cruz doesn't have a plan for winning the "mushy middle?"

Here's a thought about the "mushy middle." I'll bet that millions of them are really ticked off right about the impact of Obamacare. If you are a "mushy middle" you probably already had health insurance, and now you find out that premiums are going up, deductibles are going up, and you want someone to fight for you to bring sanity to health care.

Who's the one guy that stood up and fought back against Obamacare? Oh yeah, I know. Ted Cruz's filibuster against Obamacare in 2013 was a purely symbolic act; his quixotic speech wasn't going to go anywhere.

But if you are a mushy middle American, you might get the impression that Ted Cruz cares about people like you and is prepared to take a risk and stand up and fight for you.

Here's another thing. In his announcement speech, Ted Cruz did the usual born-in-a-log-cabin thing. In his case, he told the story of his father battling Batista in Cuba and then struggling his way up in America. Oh, and his mother was the first in her family to go to college and became a programmer in the 1950s.

You know what I call that? I call that appealing to the mushy middle.

So is Ted Cruz too extreme? Is he too abrasive? Is he too young and inexperienced? Who knows? All I know about Ted Cruz is what I read in the newspaper. Which means that I know nothing about Ted Cruz except what someone wants me to know.

But here is what I suspect. I suspect that Ted Cruz has a strategic mind.

Let's Bring It On. I'd say that any of the leading Republican candidates -- I am thinking Cruz, Walker, Rubio (sorry, no more Bushes for me) -- would be better than the corrupt and undistinguished Hillary Clinton. I say, let the best man win, the one that can appeal to the ordinary responsible individual American in the mushy middle.

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