According to Salon‘s Alex Seitz-Wald, the Teahadists have a new Great Off-White Hope, and the Southern Strategists’ Fortunate Son does not approve:
Ted Cruz is off to a fast start. After just six weeks in the Senate, he’s already managed to earn a rare bipartisan condemnation for stealing the show at Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearings in a performance that got him compared to Joseph McCarthy and profiled by half the major media organizations the country…
Even as the Tea Party movement, per se, may be waning, the activists remain and they will need a voice in Washington. The rapid ascent of the well-spoken Cruz has pleased many conservative activists hungry for more. “We salute you, Senator Cruz, and we’re calling for backup,” a much-shared RedState post read.
But it may not put any smiles on the face of Sen. Rand Paul, who is himself trying to become the de-facto leader of the very same movement and who helped get Cruz where he is today….
Paul has been openly considering a run for the presidency in four years, following in the footsteps of his father, and has set a reasonably cautious course to get there. “I would absolutely not run unless it were to win,” he told Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday. “You know, points have been made and we’ll continue to make points, but I think the country really is ready for the narrative coming, libertarian Republican narrative.”
While a win for Paul seems impossible, he could still put up a solid showing to solidify himself as a national movement leader, just as his father did….
The horse-race narrative seems to be that Rand “If I Were President” Paul would salve his political ambitions by treating his Senate seat as a properly glibertarian small-business inheritance from his more ambitious old man — a sinecure that would keep him moderately prosperous and in the public eye, while still allowing plenty of time to work on his golf handicap. But if the Villagers are going to gin up Ted Cruz as the right-wing Obama, can we hope that Paul’s wounded lèse-majesté will force him to defend his inherited prerogatives?