Cruz to Skip “Exploratory Committee,” Go Straight for the Grift Top Ticket

Per Theodore Schleifer at the Houston Chronicle:

Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington.

Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form an exploratory committee, said senior advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.

The senator is scheduled to speak Monday at a convocation ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is expected to declare his campaign for the presidency.

Over the course of the primary campaign, Cruz will aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million, according to advisers, and dominate with the same tea party voters who supported his underdog Senate campaign in 2012. But the key to victory, Cruz advisers believe, is to be the second choice of enough voters in the party’s libertarian and social conservative wings to cobble together a coalition to defeat the chosen candidate of the Republican establishment…

…[C]ritics of Cruz argue that he will have trouble raising high-dollar donations from traditional contributors, will land few endorsements from the nation’s political establishment and be unable to escape comparisons to President Barack Obama, who also ran for president in his first Senate term. And if he advances to a general election, Cruz trails likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton solidly in early public opinion polls.

“I don’t consider him a mainstream candidate, and usually to win you’ve got to be inside the 45-yard lines,” said Greg Valliere, a political adviser to Wall Street firms who believes that if Cruz did earn the nomination, he would not win more than a dozen states in the general election. “The enthusiasm for him will be tremendous in maybe a third of the party, but another third of the party will be strongly opposed and another third of the party will be wary.”…

For Cruz, 44, Monday’s planned announcement will culminate two years of open musing about running for president that began nearly the moment voters elected him to the Senate in 2012. A week after Election Day, as senator-elect, Cruz established a political action committee to back conservative candidates nationwide. During his first summer in Congress, he was already visiting Iowa.

And over the past seven months, the Jobs, Growth and Freedom PAC has added a coterie of nationally experienced political operatives to the 2012 team of Texas strategists who engineered the surprise dethroning of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican primary. Joining the team Monday will be Cruz’s wife, Heidi, a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Houston, who will take leave from the firm and accompany her husband on the campaign trail…

Man’s in a big hurry — Destiny does not wait patiently. Schliefer goes into detail on Cruz’s history in Texas politics, and the reasoning of the Republicans supporting (or not supporting) his bid. But the brief reference to Cruz’s wife reminded me that Buzzfeed, a few days ago, published a long rambling puff piece on Heidi Cruz channeling the spirit of a old-fashioned let’s-get-out-in-front-of-this-potentially-problematic-information publicity manager. Just as Laura Bush had that tragic automobile accident back in her youth, Heidi Cruz has been treated for depression. So have millions of other Americans, of course, but it’s the kind of information a presidential candidate, especially in the GOP, might find embarrassing. It is a very sympathetic article, but I’ll admit I had trouble following some of the narrative assumptions:

… For Cruz, the former Heidi Nelson, the trajectory was always expected to involve big things. She grew up in California with a religious family of Seventh-day Adventists, who stressed that personal success could be measured by good works. At just 4 years old, she began accompanying her parents on mission trips to Africa, where they provided free dental care to locals. When she was 12, she read a Time magazine article about the 1980 presidential election, and started to take an interest in government as a vehicle for public service, in its most literal sense. By the time she arrived at Claremont-McKenna College, a small liberal arts school outside of Los Angeles, she was plotting the intricacies of a career trajectory designed to one day land her a plum appointment in the federal government working in international affairs — an area where she felt she could make a difference in the world.

“She really knew where she wanted to go, and was all about getting there,” said Ed Haley, a Claremont professor who became Cruz’s mentor… But she had little interest in being a lawyer; she wanted her private-sector training to be in business. So, they discussed which corporate skill sets might best position her for a job in a future administration, and she settled on finance…

After a few years at J.P. Morgan in New York, she went to Harvard Business School and emerged, MBA in hand, with a bevy of lucrative job offers — including a highly coveted spot at Goldman Sachs.

Instead, she took an unpaid job on George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign….

It was there that she met Ted Cruz, the ostentatiously brilliant, motor-mouthed Harvard Law grad who liked to talk about his debate championships, Supreme Court clerkship, and big plans for the future. Some in Bush headquarters were repelled by Ted’s transparent ambition and steroid-infused self-confidence, but Heidi was drawn to him. She ended the campaign with a new husband, and an offer to work at the U.S. trade representative’s office….
***********
When Ted did eventually embark on a long-shot bid for the U.S. Senate in 2012, he suggested to Heidi, “Sweetheart, I’d like us to liquidate our entire net worth” — more than $1 million — “and put it into the campaign.” The way he would tell it to the New York Times, his steadfast rock of a wife “astonished” him when she said without hesitating, “Absolutely.” But in her version of the story, she reacted to her husband’s proposal more like the savvy banker that she was. As she would recall to Politico, she proposed not investing any of their own money in the campaign “unless it made the difference between winning and losing.” Really, she wanted to test the viability of his campaign by seeing if he could drum up funds from other donors. As she put it, it was “just common investment sense.”

November 2012 was a big month for the Cruzes: Nine days after Ted won his insurgent Senate race, Goldman Sachs announced that Heidi would be promoted to managing director. And though she continued to miss the public sector, her success at Goldman enabled to get the firm involved in various philanthropic projects, temporarily satisfying her appetite for service, she has said….

It may just be my stubborn Democratic mindset that I can’t understand the logic of “I wanted to improve life for poor people in foreign countries, so I worked hard to get George W. Bush elected, served a stint in the Latin American branch of Condelezza Rice’s NSC, and then took a high-level job at Goldman Sachs while my husband broke into big-time Texas politics.” But then again, Laura Bush did get to be First Lady… for all the good it did her (not to mention the rest of us).

207 replies
  1. 1
    jo6pac says:

    Another clown for the bus to no where

  2. 2
    Scott says:

    As a Texan, my comments are these: He hasn’t done a damn thing as Senator. He making his announcement at Liberty University in Virginia, not Texas. He has been campaigning non stop on the taxpayer’s dollar since his election.

    He should announce his resignation as Senator the same time he announces running for President.

  3. 3
    Chickamin Slam says:

    But … but … he has children’s coloring books made in his likeness. He’s definitely a contender!

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....book.html#

  4. 4
    ruemara says:

    An ego so large it should be dressed in a rubber suit and be badly dubbed from its original Japanese.

    If he’s the nominee, I revise our chances of winning back to good. May the FSM reach out and goose him with his noodly appendages.

  5. 5
    ThresherK says:

    @Scott: Is he one of those right-wingers whose peak of public service is achieved a la George W. Bush’s benign neglect?

    Shrub’s best days weeks months of presidenting were done when he was on vacation and actually didn’t do much of anything.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    Your first link is bad. Please to fix?

  7. 7
    cervantes says:

    I don’t suppose it’s worth pointing out that according to the Obama birthers, Cruz is not eligible to be president. The scenario (which is true in Cruz’s case) is that he was born abroad of a mother who was a U.S. citizen and a father who as not. Ergo, if Obama is an illegitimate usurper, so would be Ted Cruz. I’m not expecting them to be consistent, just sayin’.

  8. 8
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I desperately want him to run a third party candidacy.

  9. 9
    tbone says:

    Does this mean he can’t run for senate?

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    I wanted to improve life for poor people … which would be me in foreign countries that I travel to as a rich tourist instead of a missionary

    FTFY

    Geez, two Preacher’s Kids fueled by death-metal-levels of ego and ambition, swelled heads and buried resentment. The worst of toxic Christianity funneled into hyper-drive political grift leading to ultimate power.

    Cruz is exactly the type to react to self-triggered setbacks by bringing on Armageddon.

    The Republicans are welcome to this candidate. This might be the final iteration before the collapse begins.

    Let it be so.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    @Amir Khalid: First link, I think

    So, if a third of Republicans love him, that means nine percent of all Americans. What a contender!

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Second link is good. Never mind.

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    There’s an R after his name.
    He wears suits, and makes vaguely-presidential type noises.

    So his popular vote floor is 46.5%
    Why shouldn’t he go for it?

    None of us living will see a Mondale/McGovern/Goldwater scale blowout.

  15. 15
    Scott says:

    There are some many Republicans running I just can’t wait for the circular firing squad to start their fratricide.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    Good. It’s important for Cruz to get out in front and set the tone for the wingnut primary. The media will seek to make Jeb! and Scott! look reasonable (see how they treated Romney).

  17. 17
    max says:

    Man’s in a big hurry — Destiny does not wait patiently.

    Becoming the first fully announced candidate in the field after failing to make much splach during the invisible primary: desperate bid for attention, de facto surrender to the inevitable. He’ll be out soon enough – this is a fund raising ploy for 2020.

    Just as Laura Bush had that tragic automobile accident back in her youth, Heidi Cruz has been treated for depression.

    Well, if you were married to Ted Cruz, wouldn’t you be depressed?

    max
    [‘I Married Tailgunner Joe!’]

  18. 18
    samiam says:

    What I find so funny about Cruz is you NEVER hear anyone question his real muricanism blah blah. No where is the birth certificate blah blah. This despite the fact he is a former Canadian citizen. Meanwhile they were trying to claim that Hawaii is not a real state to disqualify Obama along with the fake birth certificate nonsense.

    Tell me again that all the Obama birth certificate BS was not just a NiCLANG dog whistle! MSM played along the whole way and they knew exactly what they were doing!

    Why is nobody calling EVERYONE out on this? Why? Just do a google search from 7 years ago to as recently as 2 or 3 years ago. Print out the stories and wave it in these people faces!

  19. 19

    Cruz isn’t stupid, he saw what even a novice idiot like Caribou Barbie can pull down in grift and appearances. Imagine if you set your mind to it properly? It’s a win-win no matter what happens to him, unless he steps in front of a speeding bus.

    I vote for presidents, not first ladies. However I’ll happily make an exception in the case of the Dem candidate.

    @samiam: “…all the Obama birth certificate BS was not just a NiCLANG dog whistle!”

    I thought that’s exactly what it was.

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    I said yesterday this Cruz fellow has a grating voice, a creepy manner, a feeble grasp of reality, and delusional policy ideas. (I say this today, too.)
    Even if you share the latter two with him, you won’t like the first two.

    I also say that Stevie G may have just cost Liverpool a shot at a top-four place by getting redcarded 48 seconds after coming on at halftime. Aargh!

  21. 21
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Does anyone think Cruz has an actual chance of winning the nomination?

    If he does, by all means Calgary Cruz should go for it. Sometimes, I get the feeling that he’s out to spill more blood on his side than on our side…

  22. 22
    EriktheRed says:

    It’s just more of the same grift.

    He knows there’s no way he’d even win the WH and that he’d likely not even win the GOP nomination. However, that won’t stop him from getting millions in donor $$$ from delusional rubes who believe he’d have a half a snowball’s chance in hell.

  23. 23
    Rekster says:

    The senator is scheduled to speak Monday at a convocation ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia

    Bob Jones University must have been unavailable.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Not in the Dems favor, anyway.

    @PsiFighter37:

    Very small chance.

  25. 25
    gf120581 says:

    @tbone: He isn’t up until 2018.

    I doubt he’s going to run for reelection, however. He’s shown absolutely no interest in a long term Senate career, not with his destructive ways and his singular ability to make people despise him.

  26. 26
    Bobby B. says:

    Cut Cruz some slack y’all.Give him all the rope he needs.

  27. 27
    bemused says:

    A firefighter’s association didn’t seem to be impressed when spoke to them recently. A lot of dead silence after Cruz talking points vs him getting rousing receptions when it’s rabid tea party crowds.

  28. 28
    nominus says:

    Typical MO for Cruz; to leap before looking, jumping into something that is certain failure when everybody in the world has already said it would fail. It’s what he’s done since day 1 of his Senate career, I don’t know why I expected him to do the obviously smart thing and stay out of the race.

    That being said, everyone needs to stop with Voltaire’s prayer. They have gone so far beyond ridiculous. This is going to be a hilarious primary season.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    @EriktheRed: Raking in campaign dough without the messy business of pretending to govern while not?

    Republican heaven!

  30. 30
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Baud: Yeah, I don’t think he has a real chance either, mainly because a) none of the big-dollar guys are that stupid enough to give him money, and b) he’ll get absolutely crushed in the big states during the primary. Not saying that the GOP isn’t nuts everywhere, but they’re not as insane in California or in New York as they are in Texas (which is probably the only big state he has a realistic shot of winning).

    That said, it will make things infinitely more fun to watch. Pass the popcorn!

  31. 31
    gf120581 says:

    @EriktheRed: I’d be inclined to agree, but then, this is Ted Cruz after all, a guy with an ego so huge you can see it fom another galaxy and a crazy father who has drilled into his head that he’s “chosen.”

    The guy is fucking Greg Stillson made flesh.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gf120581:
    He doesn’t need a long Senate career. He’ll be POTUS before his first term as a Senator is up, you’ll see.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    Hadn’t known that Heidi Cruz was part of the ‘apocalypse is around the corner’ crowd– but it’s not a surprise.There’s more of them than you might think, but not enough to elect a President, IMO.

    ETA: And the notion that a substantial fraction of libertarians will vote for a religious fanatic is just nuts, also, IMO

  34. 34
    Randy P says:

    and usually to win you’ve got to be inside the 45-yard lines

    Dear Mr. Political GrifterConsultant:
    For those of us who aren’t close followers of football and don’t necessarily think in terms of the detailed intricacies of football strategy, always going to the football analogy is kind of like always going for the punt on 3rd down. Or something.

  35. 35
    Scott says:

    @MattF: My fear is that they believe Armageddon is coming and they’ll work to hurry the process.

  36. 36
    HRA says:

    @cervantes:
    “I don’t suppose it’s worth pointing out that according to the Obama birthers, Cruz is not eligible to be president. The scenario (which is true in Cruz’s case) is that he was born abroad of a mother who was a U.S. citizen and a father who as not. Ergo, if Obama is an illegitimate usurper, so would be Ted Cruz. I’m not expecting them to be consistent, just sayin’.”

    Both parents have to be citizens of the United States if you are born elsewhere to qualify for president. He does not qualify.

  37. 37
    Randy P says:

    @PsiFighter37: I think we’re going to see a repeat of the “anybody but Romney” race of 2012, where a bunch of klowns rotate through the very brief #1 spot for a month or two and the last-klown standing is the candidate. I can’t think who is in the Romney role though. Maybe Jeb.

  38. 38

    Nine days after Ted won his insurgent Senate race, Goldman Sachs announced that Heidi would be promoted to managing director.

    And I’m sure there was no connection whatsoever. Nope. Nothing to see here. There’s no kind of corrupt dealing between Goldman Sachs and the Cruzes, and Ted has no kind of conflict of interest.

  39. 39
    Mike in NC says:

    Cruz is the next Gingrich. Could never get nominated, much less elected, to national office, but can make a bundle from throwing red meat to the lunatic base. Might even find a shiny new wife without the mental health issues (provided she’s wealthy).

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    @Mike in NC: I see Cruz one-upping Gingrich because Gingrich never could get the lunatic holy man thing down, and Cruz is literally born to it.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    if Cruz did earn the nomination, he would not win more than a dozen states in the general election.

    It’s time for the Republicans to have their own Mondale. In terms of presidential election states won only, of course.

  42. 42
    pluege says:

    no surprise from an egomaniac and Narcissist. cruz truly is psychotic.

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    @Scott: That Liberty University choice seems bad, to me. If he wants to rake in all that sweet Texan money he needs to bend the knee there.

  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    The consensus here is that Cruz is an arrogant fool about to learn how much people really despise him. I do hope that’s correct — he’d make a horrible POTUS — but could we be wrong? And if so, where would we have misunderestimated him?

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    but could we be wrong?

    Never.

  46. 46
    sdhays says:

    @Amir Khalid: This has always been my analysis too. He’s really quite odious without even knowing his policy ideas. There’s a real limit, even in the Republican Party, for the amount of support someone like that will get, and the anger without any positive vision (which I think he’s pretty much incapable of having) is not the stuff that wins Presidential elections.

    My only caveat is that a big chunk of Republican primary voters make no pretense about being decent people and his creepiness and nastiness will be attractive, especially while Obama keeps humiliating the Republican Congress by not allowing them to do whatever they want. There is definitely a crazed Goldwater-like appetite in the Republican Party for a show-the-Democrats-who’s-boss type of leader; maybe he can tap into enough of that to shut Jeb out.

    If he somehow becomes the Republican nominee, he will have gotten there by trashing everyone in the Republican Party and the Democrat will crush him 1964-style.

  47. 47
    shelley says:

    Which Dr. Suess book will he reading from?

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @aimai: No, the Texan money will go to Jeb or Rick Perry. Ted Cruz needs to look elsewhere for his grift.

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    The Republican Party courts the crazy but has yet to knuckle under to it. They have made a fetish of their failures; every personhood bill that gets shot down, every Muslim in the legislature, every not-white, not-male person of prominence just makes their base GIVE MORE to make the future go away.

    And in the meantime, they run your basic Republican rich cranky white fella. JEB has already been declared That Guy.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    @shelley: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” But only the first part. Alternate choice, “If I Ran the Zoo.”

  51. 51
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    If he wants to rake in all that sweet Texan money he needs to bend the knee there.

    He (officially) starts raking it in here on the 31st.

  52. 52
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think the fact that Republicans in Congress can’t stand him is significant. Cruz entered into the Senate hailed by the Village as a conservative ‘golden boy’ but– in the real world– the golden glow wore off very quickly. There aren’t a lot of positive things one can say about Republicans in Congress, but there’s little doubt that they are, in fact, representative of their districts and states. This doesn’t bode well for Cruz.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    I desperately want him to run a third party candidacy.

    He will. But only after he loses the GOP nomination.

    In the meantime, him pushing the other candidates further and further to East CrazyShrillHateville is great news. He accelerates their race to the bottom. He might leave the eventual winner in a hole too deep to dig out of in the general.

  54. 54
    MattF says:

    @aimai: I agree that it’s revealing. Moral majority and all that.

  55. 55
    JMG says:

    Everyone who has ever met Cruz in a peer setting, from college to the Senate, has agreed on one thing — they can’t stand him. I don’t think he’ll wear well even with Republican primary voters, because deep down he despises them just like he despises everyone else and he’s not a very good actor.

  56. 56
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF:

    Hadn’t known that Heidi Cruz was part of the ‘apocalypse is around the corner’ crowd– but it’s not a surprise.

    She’s not part of that crowd. Her parents may have been — but, for herself, she had rejected that sort of thing pretty directly by the time she was an adult.

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    Grifting 101. He will put the rest of them to shame.

  58. 58
    MattF says:

    @Cervantes: But then she married back into it. But I admit I’m talking through my hat here– I just don’t know.

  59. 59
    Amir Khalid says:

    @HRA:
    Are you sure of this? It was my impression that if you have one American parent, you are an American too no matter where you were born i.e. Stanley Dunham Obama’s American citizenship was enough, by itself, to make Barack II an American.

  60. 60
    BGinCHI says:

    Let’s list his accomplishments:

    …..

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF:

    there’s little doubt that [Republicans in Congress] are, in fact, representative of their districts and states.

    Districts, maybe, but states?

  62. 62
    mai naem mobile says:

    I don’t know why teabaggers think this guy can win. He looks like he’s right out of the fifties(greasy slicked back hair)and not in a forever cool James Dean/Frank Sinatra kind of way. More like a George Wallace kind of way. I know the teabaggers are a bunch of racist turds but can they not see that you have to have a David Duke look a like to win big these days.

  63. 63
    Gian says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    it was done to Clinton too. Although they argued he renounced his citizenship by going to Moscow to protest the viet nam war – or something very close to that. Central to the right-wing ethos post Reagan – no Democrat is a legitimate president, period.

    http://articles.latimes.com/19.....ld-solomon

    WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman demanded the State Department investigate rumors that Bill Clinton had considered renouncing his citizenship about the time department officials searched Clinton’s passport records, a statement from the lawmaker’s office said Monday.

    However, the lawmaker’s letter citing Clinton was written after his passport records had been searched.

    Clinton, now President-elect, has denied that he ever contemplated such a move and no evidence to the contrary has been found.

  64. 64
    MattF says:

    @Cervantes: Well, the variances will be greater, but I think the basic point holds true.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @MattF:

    Here’s the kind of thing I had in mind. In last year’s mid-term elections, in North Carolina Democrats won 23% of House seats despite winning 44% of the state-wide vote; while in Pennsylvania those numbers were 27% and 44%, respectively.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    but could we be wrong? And if so, where would we have misunderestimated him?

    People are misunderestimating in some ways, but IMO they’re not wrong about him.
    Those who think this is merely a grift, or the king of grifts, are not taking him for what he is. He truly believes he is going to be president. The money is a nice side component for his ego, but he’s not pulling a Gingrich and he’s not setting himself up for 2020 (not directly).
    His actions in the Senate have indicated his path. He thinks this is his time.

  67. 67
    WereBear says:

    @mai naem mobile: His base swoons over the same TV preachers I have an instant aversion to.

    There is no accounting for taste :)

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    I don’t care how many people scream Godwin!, this guy really is an American Hitler. If Cruz were to be elected, I’d shocked if we got to the end of his first term without a nuclear war.

  69. 69
    Citizen_X says:

    Run, Ted, run! Pointlessly suck up lots and lots of that rich-idiot money! Turn the GOP primary into a psychotic bloodbath that ends up looking like the end of Hamlet. Or split the party outright! And if, by some miracle, you get the nomination, good luck with that repellant arrogance of yours. I mean, we used to joke that he scared small children, and then he went ahead and actually did it–and still acted as if it was the right thing to do!

    So yes: I think Ted, if nominated, would be the guy to get below the 46% threshold. Put me down for that prediction right now.

  70. 70
    Culture of Truth says:

    Greg Valliere, a political adviser to Wall Street firms

    there’s a job for you

  71. 71
    MattF says:

    @Cervantes: I see. I was thinking more along the lines of ‘Republican representatives are representative of Republicans’. They are definitely not like Democrats.

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    No, the Texan money will go to Jeb or Rick Perry. Ted Cruz needs to look elsewhere for his grift.

    Jeb has already locked up the Texas money. Perry screwed himself royally with the A&M money base a few years ago. He’s not getting a penny from a lot of the R players in TX.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    I think the comparison to Gingrich is vaguely valid in at least one small way. Some big donor loon keep Cruz funded enough to attack some others in the field and draw support away from lesser fringe candidates before they can build any momentum. It’s a field clearing move so nobody but Jeb seems viable at the end of the day.

  74. 74

    […] The essential Balloon Juice has an interesting analysis of Heidi Cruz and the strange puff piece in BuzzFeed the other day (which now makes sense to me): […]

  75. 75
    max says:

    @JGabriel: I don’t care how many people scream Godwin!, this guy really is an American Hitler. If Cruz were to be elected, I’d shocked if we got to the end of his first term without a nuclear war.

    He’ll be too busy exhorting the nuclear weapons to embrace American exceptionalism to punch the button.

    max
    [‘The spell checker question ‘exceptionalism’. Well, so do I!’]

  76. 76
    HRA says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I thought I was sure about the qualifications for president of the United States. At this site there are several ways to qualify. http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    @max:
    It also questions “misunderestimate”, George Walker Bush’s sole contribution to civilisation.

  78. 78
    Not Adding Much to the Community says:

    “The enthusiasm for him will be tremendous in maybe a third of the party” – Yeah, around 27% or so.

  79. 79
    jayboat says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    Cruz isn’t stupid, he saw what even a novice idiot like Caribou Barbie can pull down in grift and appearances. Imagine if you set your mind to it properly? It’s a win-win no matter what happens to him, unless he steps in front of a speeding bus.

    This. He’s only an idiot in some respects.
    He’s looking for the long con and will eventually make gnoot and shuckleberry look like amateur hour.

    Both of them preachers’ kids? Grifter training from day one. Wonder if someone with his superhuman level of integrity would ever use his position to offer ‘advice’ to his wife based on his special position in govt? Feels irresponsible not to speculate.

  80. 80
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Violet: I feel like Rick Perry exposed himself as a possibly even dumber version of Dubya in 2012, regardless of whether he was loopy because of pain meds or not. He made a complete fool of himself in the debates, and he basically neutered himself because of it.

    If he wasn’t such an idiot, he would’ve run for re-election and won in 2014 (easily), then run for president in 2016 as the incumbent king of Texas. Now he’s out of office, has an indictment over his head, and has no money because the Bushes will make sure all of it goes to Jeb.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Those who think this is merely a grift, or the king of grifts, are not taking him for what he is.

    I agree.

  83. 83
    max says:

    @different-church-lady: He will. But only after he loses the GOP nomination.

    He’s already lost the nom – he flamed out in the invisible primary. That’s why he’s getting in now – this IS his third party run. I would hope he’s persistent enough to then split from the party but I don’t think he’s quite that far gone in the head.

    In the meantime, him pushing the other candidates further and further to East CrazyShrillHateville is great news. He accelerates their race to the bottom. He might leave the eventual winner in a hole too deep to dig out of in the general.

    ‘Ladies and germs, welcome to our 3rd Annual All-Star Right Stuff Demolition Death Race!!!! {crowd roars} And, look! Our very first racer is entering the track now… It’s a 1987 Buick Cutlass jacked up on some big tires – the number 13 Blllllllooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrdddddddddd! Driven by Senator Ted Cruz! {crowd roars some more}’

    max
    [‘So soon things will all be higgledy-piggledy! Yay!’]

  84. 84
    Duke of Clay says:

    @samiam: I don’t think he loves America like we do.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @PsiFighter37:
    So there will be no Rick Perry 2016 campaign posters and T-shirts saying “Vote for Stupid”? I am disappoint.

  86. 86
    JMG says:

    This is well-poisoning. Since he can’t possibly be nominated in ’16, Cruz’s self-interest is to make sure the Republican nominee loses in ’16. As often as he can, he will say things the other nominees will be forced to agree with or denounce, screwing them either with the base or other voters.

  87. 87
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone: Agreed. He’s a true believer.

    Will say that he’s poor at identifying his weaknesses and addressing them. He’s not well liked and he either doesn’t know that or doesn’t think it’s important. He’s wrong if he doesn’t think it’s important. If he doesn’t know it then he’s got a massive blind spot.

  88. 88
    Seanly says:

    There are some birthers who are being consistent and refuse to acknowledge that Cruz is a natural born American. I suppose the issue could be if Cruz’s mother had lived in the US for 5 years before he was born – clock starts ticking in mid-teens I think. This was one of the issues that people used to discredit Obama’s birth. Of course, being that he was born in Hawaii, Obama is natural born regardless of his mother’s standing.
    Of course, for the grifter portion of the birther movement (the leaders & writers), it was almost more about Obama being black & Democratic. Some of the deep kooks like Orly Taitz will oppose Cruz because they are consistent in their madness. However, most of the field will drop the issue.
    Anyone remember when Schwarzenegger won the CA governor and the media filled for a few weeks with talks about amending the Constitution to allow any citizen to be president? Then he proofed to be insufficiently conservative.

  89. 89
    Keith P. says:

    I think several of these folks (Jindal, Walker) are actually running for Vice-President.

  90. 90
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JMG:
    Thus earning the favours he’ll be counting on when he runs in 2020.

  91. 91
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone: Yeah, but Perry has his own connections in the state. He’ll get some Texas money, but not as much as Jeb. The Bush crime syndicate connections are strong in Texas.

    The general point was that there isn’t much Texas money left for Ted Cruz. That’s why he’s announcing in Virginia. He’s not stupid in that regard. He’s going where his money is.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Lizzy L says:

    Cruz/Carson, guys. You heard it here first.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Violet says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    If he wasn’t such an idiot, he would’ve run for re-election and won in 2014 (easily), then run for president in 2016 as the incumbent king of Texas. Now he’s out of office, has an indictment over his head, and has no money because the Bushes will make sure all of it goes to Jeb.

    The Bush family and Perry don’t like each other very much so that was already an issue.

    Perry would have had the indictment whether or not he was governor. He’ll grift more as former governor. I don’t really see how him running or not running would have made a difference to any presidential aspirations.

  96. 96
    max says:

    @Keith P.: I think several of these folks (Jindal, Walker) are actually running for Vice-President.

    {candidate holds cardboard sign} ‘MWM desperately needs a promotion. Please give.’

    max
    [‘That is, they’re running for anybody that will have them for any job – and also President.’]

  97. 97
    Pogonip says:

    @JGabriel: Yes, he spooks me too.

    Nixon suffered from serious depression, which of course became worse during Watergate, and there were orders from his top aides for the military to report any “unusual” orders to them before taking action, lest in his disturbed condition he initiate the Götterdämmerung. I’ve no doubt there would be similar back door orders about President Cruz as well. The problem is the missiles belong to the Air Farce. 50 years ago the Air Farce was not full of officers who would take a nuclear order as the Rapture beginning and happily push the button.

    That said, nuclear war is very bad for business, so I am sure voting machines will be programmed, and the electoral college instructed, so that Cruz never gets near the White House. But of course he could have the machines hacked…

    In short, he’s not a big threat, but it could happen.

  98. 98
    Elizabelle says:

    @WereBear:

    Geez, two Preacher’s Kids fueled by death-metal-levels of ego and ambition, swelled heads and buried resentment. The worst of toxic Christianity funneled into hyper-drive political grift leading to ultimate power.

    I love how the road to heaven always traipses through the money lenders’ temple with these types. And sometimes never emerges.

    Grifters with Ivy League degrees.

  99. 99
    brettvk says:

    @MattF: My impression, and it’s only that, is that libertarians will dismiss Cruz’s religiosity as the necessary bait to draw in the untermenschen of the party. He always looks shiny with deception to me.The libertarians who will identify with Cruz (the majority, I think) will see his I’m-smarter-than-everyone-I’m-talking-to aura as the mantle of Ayn herself. He wears that attitude better than Rand Paul or Ron ever did.

  100. 100
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The one thing that’s surprised me about Cruz is that he doesn’t poll better among even R primary voters. Granted it’s early, no real campaigning blah blah, but if he’s ever creeped up to double digits, I haven’t seen the poll.

  101. 101
    muddy says:

    @Violet:

    The Bush family and Perry don’t like each other very much so that was already an issue.

    Cartoon Cowboy – There Can Be Only One!

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m slightly encouraged by how Jeb’s campaign is so defensive- all the field-clearing and tying up donors and “neutralizing threats” in Florida.

    Bush did all that but it was never tied to him, you never saw the gears moving behind the scenes. They carefully kept him positive, and his supporters SAW him as positive- A Good Man- they loved him. They swallowed all that above the fray bullshit, saw Bush II as “real” not political. To a certain extent media bought it too.

    It’s like Jeb knows he won’t win the enthusiasm of the base, he’ll never be loved- much more like Romney’s approach than George W’s approach.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @EriktheRed:
    He knows there’s no way he’d even win the WH and that he’d likely not even win the GOP nomination.
    I think you are giving him too much credit. He, like most of his ilk are not in the least bit objective about themselves nor their “policies”. I think they truly believe all the BS they and others spread about themselves. They are after all are believers, OK not just believers, but TRUE believers. They don’t need objectivity, truth, doubt, self-reflection, those are for the lesser people.

  104. 104
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Ruckus: I think Cruz and people like him, they look at Obama and think “jeez, HE got elected, why shouldn’t I?”

  105. 105
    different-church-lady says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    “…why shouldn’t I?”

    Many of them will soon be getting their answer to that question.

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    A Good Man- they loved him.

    I don’t know if it was actually the first Kathleen Parker column I read, but it’s the first one I remember. Inspired by a picture of the Idiot Princeling of Walker’s Point sitting behind the wheel of an old pick up truck down on the Lazy Potemkin notRanch, Parker concluded that this was “a good man”. the whole column was infused with that kind of sentimentality, and it’s why for a long time I dismissed her as a second-rate Peggy Noonan. Bush was fond of that kind of would-be Gary Cooperish understatement. I remember he used the “good man” to describe Bernie Kerik just before he nominated him for Homeland Security secretary, which was in turn just before Kerik was indicted. I think he liked to use it with foreign leaders, too– I have a vague memory of him describing Blair that way as if he were bestowing a great honor on a deserving vassal.

  107. 107
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @different-church-lady: True. And I wonder how many of them, as it’s been said here, are really running for Vice Pres. The ones who can look ahead beyond one year.

  108. 108
    Barry says:

    ““I wanted to improve life for poor people in foreign countries,”

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhht.

    This means ‘whip the slaves harder, and make sure that I get a bigger cut’.

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Bush didn’t have to run as an ideological hard-liner. I don’t know if that’s true of today’s candidates.

  110. 110
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Carly Fiorina for Veep, I think Rudi thinks he may be an AG candidate, Lindsey Graham, State or Justice or Defense. I think Rubio may be the Republicans’ Evan Bayh, hoping the Veep-ship will get him to the grown up table. I hope he’s eternally short-listed into lobbying like Bayh, too.

  111. 111
    WereBear says:

    @Kay: JEB! When you’ve got no other choices.

    :)

  112. 112
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Amir Khalid: You’re right, HRA is confused, as is whoever raised the 5 years’ residency issue.

    It’s confusing in part because just after Barack Hussein Obama the Younger was born in Hawaii, but just before Ted Cruz the Lesser was born in Canada, US immigration law changed.

    While John McCain’s birth in a US territory that didn’t become a state (Panama) was always disqualifying (his US citizen parents hadn’t been resident in the US for the preceding 5 years, a topic that oddly never came up), Ted Cruz acquired his citizenship through birth to a US citizen parent abroad. After 1966, that parent could be the one of the female persuasion.

    Before 1966, though, our laws prevented US men from going abroad and siring US citizens on lesser statuses of women, thus giving the mother and child the valuable door prize of entry into the US.

    In 1965, our Congress actually debated whether it was fair for US citizens who happened to have uteri to be unable to transmit their nationality to babies who came out of their own personal junk in London or Berlin…and found that, in fact, this was not fair. So the INA they passed changed how citizenship is both bestowed on and documented for children of mixed-status couples born abroad.

    /You don’t have to become an authority on citizenship for children of US citizens to adopt a foreign-born child…but it saved me a lot of $$$ on attorneys’ fees.>

  113. 113
    Barry says:

    @Pogonip: “That said, nuclear war is very bad for business, so I am sure voting machines will be programmed, and the electoral college instructed, so that Cruz never gets near the White House. But of course he could have the machines hacked…”

    The problem is that we know now that these guys f*ck up a lot, and just pave it over with money.

    We also know that a GOP Presidency + House + Senate + SCOTUS + two more GOP Justices is worth many trillions of dollars to the big boys, and will yield pleasing effects through at least twenty years. They will do *anything* to put the winner of the GOP nomination into the White House.

    What I expect is that he’ll be cut off at the pass; my money is on Jeb getting the nomination. He comes from an established Mafia family, and has massive connections to power and money.

  114. 114
    PhoenixRising says:

    @WereBear: Where do I buy that bumper sticker?
    Or maybe,

    JEB: For when you don’t have a good option

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:
    It’s worse than that. They look at President Obama and say I’m ten times the man he is and he got elected, therefore I should just be anointed, while actually they are at best 1/10,000 of the man the president is. They have no objectivity, among many, many other faults.

  116. 116
    WereBear says:

    @PhoenixRising: JEB: Just close your eyes and think of Money.

  117. 117
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Randy P:

    Dear Mr. Political GrifterConsultant:
    For those of us who aren’t close followers of football and don’t necessarily think in terms of the detailed intricacies of football strategy, always going to the football analogy is kind of like always going for the punt on 3rd down. Or something.

    Well, Cruz is Canadian and Canadian Football only has 3 downs. But since the CFL just hired a blah league commissioner, you can bet that Calgary Cruz won’t be cheering for his hometown Calgary Stampeders (who apropos of nothing have had Woody Strode and Dwayne Johnson on their historical team roster)

  118. 118
    Pogonip says:

    @PhoenixRising: I like it!

    “Bush: It Could Be So Much Worse.”. (That one could do double duty for Hillary.)

  119. 119
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Ruckus: That’s kind of the point I was trying to make. You did a better job of putting it into words. They feel superior to Obama, and so think they’ve got a shot. They just don’t understand Obama or themselves.

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    I’m slightly encouraged by how Jeb’s campaign is so defensive- all the field-clearing

    I’m enjoying the pre-emptive dirty oppo plays the Bush Crime Family is already slowly leaking against potential candidates on both sides of the aisle.
    Tell me the HRC emails, which we’ve known about for two years, aren’t being stoked by Jeb’s team. The Walker fiasco may have been a silly misplay by him, but the forcefulness of the pushback seems levered, IMO.
    Plus that together with Jeb poaching staff members Christie was counting on, albeit he was too damn slow to solidify any base of support from that talent, and I think it’s clear we’re seeing some good old fashioned BCF ratfucking.

  121. 121
    ShadeTail says:

    Ted Cruz, the republican nominee? Puh-leeese, don’t throw me in that briar patch.

    Anyway, I don’t believe for an instant that he’s serious. He’s just a slightly smarter version of Sarah “the quitter” Palin. He’ll run a vanity campaign for a while to get more attention with his nasty mud-slinging (and increase his list of “contacts” (i.e. dupes)), then he’ll find an excuse to “gracefully” drop out of the race at a convenient moment. If he even runs at all, which I’m still not convinced of.

    Because Ted Cruz doesn’t want to be President. After all, that would mean *actually working*.

  122. 122
    Corner Stone says:

    And to add on to that, I think we’re going to keep seeing things like Santorum getting the nuttiest of nutty ass questions from kooky audience plants. His youtube clips and soundbytes are all going to be of him trying to downplay these weirdos while still trying to adhere to the RWNJ talking point lines. That’s all anyone’s going to see of him.
    Cruz is going to flame out spectacularly, and I can only hope he goes down trying to blow up two or three others like Paul and Walker.
    He can’t take out Jeb, and while Cruz is in he needs Jeb as a foil or stand in for GOP Establishment, so he can play against that.

  123. 123
    muddy says:

    @PhoenixRising: So the Walking Caricature is an “anchor baby”.

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    BooMan has a great take on the Cruz announcement:

    This guarantees that Cruz will get the attention he craves, and that won’t be a good thing for the Republican Party. I don’t think he plans to leave any room on his right for his competitors to maneuver in, and his schtick is going to be that everyone else is a weak-kneed conservative wannabe. I expect this to get very personal, very quickly. Because the other candidates will be more comfortable attacking Cruz than the outlandish conservative ideas he espouses, I think they will talk about his knowledge, temperament, and effectiveness rather than challenge him from an ideological point of view.

    The exception will be Jeb…

  125. 125
    WereBear says:

    JEB: Third time’s the charm!

  126. 126
    Eric U. says:

    @Pogonip: I guess you’ve never heard of Curtis “bomb ’em back to the stone age” LeMay. He spent the latter part of his career trying to start WWIII because he thought we would win

  127. 127
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Kathleen Parker gushed sentimentally in many of her columns about John McCain being a “loyal old soldier” who simply wanted to serve his country. Four years later she was getting the vapors over Mitt Romney being like the ideal next door neighbor who would literally help sweep your driveway.

    She will always be a shameless shill for the conservative movement.

  128. 128
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Ruckus: Cruz may indeed be that oblivious to his own limitations. Maybe that’s why he didn’t modify his speech when he talked to the firefighters who failed to cheer him. It never occurred to him someone could reject him.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: It’s a lot of inside old boy TX politics but he basically cost the college endowment quite a bit of cash and tried to change the way the regents controlled things.
    When he ran for re-election I worked with an R money bundler that hated his guts and formed a coalition to get KBH in the race and get her early money. He talked about it allllll the time and still does when prompted.

  130. 130
    MomSense says:

    The potential Republican candidates are going to be manna for the late night comedians but wow this is promising to be an incredibly depressing spectacle. Yes it’s amusing on the one hand when they say stupid things but it doesn’t say great things about our democracy that slightly less than half of the country agree with them and about 10% aren’t sure.

  131. 131
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: that, and

    This guarantees that Cruz will get the attention he craves, and that won’t be a good thing for the Republican Party

    A few people have pointed out on twitter that Mitch McConnell’s reaction is probably, “Oh, fuck me”

  132. 132
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    NYTIMES:

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The political apparatus surrounding former Gov. Jeb Bush, determined to avoid embarrassment in a state that has vexed his party and family in national elections, is plotting a vast operation aimed at turning Florida into a bulwark for his presidential campaign, according to dozens of interviews.

    The plan, code-named “Homeland Security,” seeks to try to neutralize two potentially grave but homegrown threats to Mr. Bush’s long-anticipated run for president: the likely challenge from a charismatic young Republican senator from Miami, Marco Rubio, who is expected to seek the Republican nomination himself, and a demographic drift within Florida that could doom Mr. Bush there in a fall campaign against a Democrat.

  133. 133
  134. 134
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I agree, but worrying about Christie at all seems to me less confident and swaggery than George W Bush was. Come on. Christie was going nowhere.

    Jeb is the technocrat Bush- the “planner”. George W just had people to do all those machinations, so he could appear warm and human and not poll-driven :)

    I wonder how Jeb deals with religion, too., Fundies loved GWB because he (supposedly!) was one of them. Jeb is not. I think Republicans need the fundie base for enthusiasm and turn out much more than they admit.

  135. 135
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    JEB! He’s not the leader you want, but the leader you need!

  136. 136
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I wonder how Jeb deals with religion, too.

    He thinks it’s conscious when it’s actually brain dead?

  137. 137
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: JEB! Just settle already.

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:
    Xactly. True believers like cruz don’t doubt themselves, they BELIEVE. If there’s one thing believers have in overwhelming quantities, it’s chutzpa. It’s the glorious “knowledge” that they are always right and have all the answers. That they might just be wrong (about anything or everything) never enters their minds.

  139. 139
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    JEB! He is presentable!

  140. 140
    ruemara says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think Ted Cruz means it has not been paying attention. Cruz and his family view him as anointed by God. Anything he wants to do, he has managed to succeed at. There’s a lot of people who’d fall in with him just to be on the right side of a deity. I don’t believe he can without a lot of grift and pretend shift toward the middle, but I know he’d do it and our media would go right along. He believes in his divine destiny, don’t forget it.

  141. 141
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    From “CrooksAndLiars”:

    On Meet the Press this morning, Chuck Todd asked Jerry Brown about Ted Cruz’ appearance on Seth Meyers’ show Friday night where Cruz pointed to the cold weather on the East Coast as evidence that climate change is a myth.

    The response to that was Jerry Brown at his political best.

    Brown declared, “That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data. It’s shocking and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

    Chuck Todd followed that up by saying that Jerry Brown just gave Ted Cruz his first campaign ad, but Chuck Todd is an idiot. There’s a reason, after all, that Brown referred to Cruz as “that man.”

  142. 142
    Tree With Water says:

    #1) I want Joe McCarthy disinterred and viewed, just to make sure. #2) Then I want a DNA sample taken, and compared to a sample from Cruz. Just to make sure. #3) The Ivy League has once again produced another monster. The country and planet can always count on those oh so hallowed institutions. And that’s for sure.

  143. 143
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara:

    and pretend shift toward the middle, but I know he’d do it and our media would go right along

    He won’t even hint at a pretend shift to the middle, on anything. The media may let him get away with it but the people he’s counting on to propel him into the WH will not, not for a bleeping second.
    Once he does that he loses the only edge he has over Paul or Walker and becomes another RINO.

  144. 144
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Ruckus: Cruz, talking to his father: “Jesus didn’t need no exploratory committee!”

  145. 145
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    The answer may be sent, even sent loud and clear but I seriously doubt any of them will receive it. And if they do they won’t believe it. And if they believe it they won’t accept it. All that will do is make them grift harder, you know, they weren’t conservative/idiotic enough last time.

  146. 146
    max says:

    @Kay: It’s like Jeb knows he won’t win the enthusiasm of the base, he’ll never be loved- much more like Romney’s approach than George W’s approach.

    Ah, but see, when George W Bush was running, a newspaper did print all those stories – the Dallas Morning News. It just didn’t go national. This looks to me like exactly the same campaign GW ran in 1998-2000.

    I think you’re right – the party base has moved the right. That would make it difficult but he’s adapting one piece of the strategy to adjust for the changed conditions. They’re going to move the track. When GWB ran, it was fairly easy to drive a straight Bush family line to the nomination, but things have shifted since then. So Jeb is just going to have the Big Money Boyz move the pylons so the track he runs on will be a straight line dash to the nom.

    There is so much goddamned money involved (more money for Jeb now than Romney ever had any hope of collecting) and so many big donors piling in that’s it hard to see how the R base can shift the track back again.

    max
    [‘That doesn’t mean he won’t have more trouble than his brother, but there are no establishment obstacles in his path now that Romney is gone.’]

  147. 147
    vhh says:

    Cruz is the American version of Bibi. A colleague who knows Bibi well from school days says that after 15 min with him, any normal person knows that Bibi is an a**hole. It sounds it’s the same with Cruz.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    I agree, but worrying about Christie at all seems to me less confident and swaggery than George W Bush was. Come on. Christie was going nowhere.

    I think it’s more that Jeb is stealing from Christie. He’s taking competent staff, big donors and any vestige that Christie was a threat. At one time Christie tried to be the competent R Gov in a deep blue state, so that executive legerdemain was seen as getting some nominal D votes…*cough Cole cough*.
    Now Christie has no money and no one to shield him from himself.

  149. 149
    Ruckus says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:
    Not sure he’d stoop to consider himself equal to Jesus.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @vhh:
    That’s not normal. Those people must be slow to take 15 minutes to reach that conclusion.

    ETA Maybe old age has removed my benefit of the doubt filter.

  151. 151
    Baud says:

    @Ruckus:

    Jesus let himself get caught like a wuss.

  152. 152
    WereBear says:

    @max: JEB! Shut up, he’s inevitable.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    LMAO

  154. 154

    @Mike in NC:

    Remember Kathleen Parker’s fangirl drooling over Rick Perry?

    She wrote a column filled with breathless adoration that Perry was a real Manly Man like Dubbya, claiming that they both “have that same je ne sais quoi that corresponds to the way a confident Southern male asks a girl to take a spin around the dance floor: ‘Wanna dance?”

    She went on, like a bad romance novelist describing the handsome rogue who’ll soon be ripping the bodice of the feisty heroine: “There’s something slightly lazy in the mouth, half a smile, a knowing look … Weathered, creased and comfortable in jeans, they convey a regular guyness that everyday Americans relate to. Take it or leave it, it happens to be true.”

    Jesus, woman, just throw your panties at him and be done with it.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Fair Economist says:

    @Randy P:

    I think we’re going to see a repeat of the “anybody but Romney” race of 2012, where a bunch of klowns rotate through the very brief #1 spot for a month or tw

    Oh, we’ll definitely see that because the frontrunner is Jeb and he is *both* unacceptable to the TP’ers and a serious general liability due to his last name and baggage. I expect he’ll be the last one standing though, because of the dirty tricks he can play from his family’s ins with the intelligence services and various foreign governments. I really wonder what dirt he found to blackmail Romney out of the race.

  157. 157
    ruemara says:

    @Baud: Not bad. The only way to beat the republicans is to start working on it now.

  158. 158
    Baud says:

    @ruemara:

    Imagine how much better off we’d be if Obama had a Democratic Congress for his entire presidency. It almost hurts to think about it.

  159. 159
    WaterGirl says:

    @WereBear:

    JEB! Just settle already.

    Genius!

  160. 160
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud:
    We’re not allowed to have nice things.

  161. 161
    max says:

    @WereBear: JEB! Shut up, he’s inevitable.

    EXACTLY. Hopefully, our uh, friends on the far right can put out some spike strips for the guy.

    max
    [‘I don’t think it’s going to work though.’]

  162. 162
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @max: It’s way too early to tell, but i could see Walker beating Jeb. I don’t think Jeb’s gonna fare well in the primary debates

  163. 163
    Mike in NC says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: Wow. Give that woman another Pulitzer!

  164. 164
    Matt says:

    I wanted to improve life for poor people in foreign countries, so I worked hard to get George W. Bush elected, served a stint in the Latin American branch of Condelezza Rice’s NSC

    One could argue this, if one considered the “problem” to be “too many people in Latin America” and the “solution” to be “elect heartless bastards who’ll kill them (or ignore their deaths) to make a buck”.

    The sort of absolute lack of remorse required to take that position also happens to be a positive boon in the GOP prez game…

  165. 165
    srv says:

    Time to man up

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Sunday that President Barack Obama should “get over his temper tantrum” over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    “The president should get over it. Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President, it’s time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region, which is threatening the very fabric of the region. The least of your problems is what Bibi Netanyahu said during an election campaign,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

  166. 166
    Pogonip says:

    @Eric U.: I’ve heard of him. 60 years ago, the guy was quite logically regarded as a nut. Times have changed. Look up John Nelson Darby. Christendom went 1,970 years without “dispensationalism.”. Then there was a mass American crack-up and now the Air Force is full of it. (So to speak.)

  167. 167
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Jeb! Let Him Finish The Job His Grandpa Started

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @srv: try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region,

    Apparently Grampy McBitters borrowed Li’l Marco’s notes from Professor Kristol’s most recent really good explanation of the region’s politics.

  169. 169

    @srv:

    Exactly what is Bibi doing against ISIS? In his message, he seemed quite willing to give Iraq to them rather than have Iran supporting their opposition.

  170. 170
    Mike J says:

    @WereBear:

    every Muslim in the legislature

    Related: there’s a Muslim Tory standing for election who was caught trying to convince the English Defence League to protest against a mosque. the plan was that he would swoop in and defuse the situation, keep the mosque open, and appear to be a reasonable conservative. In return he promised to be the EDL’s best friend in parliament.

    http://www.expressandstar.com/.....ley-north/

  171. 171
    Corner Stone says:

    @srv:

    it’s time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region

    I wonder what McCain thinks Israel can contribute in any mildly positive way for this effort?

  172. 172
    Baud says:

    @srv:

    Time to man up suspend your campaign, Mr. President.

    There.

  173. 173
    Cacti says:

    The problem for the GOP is that Carnival Cruz isn’t any more ridiculous than any of their other reported “hopefuls”.

    Rand Paul is a neoconfederate loon with a chinchilla on his head; Scott Walker is a cross eyed high school graduate whose state is the 37th in job creation; Chris Christie is a tubby New Jersey sleaze, straight out of central casting; Jeb Bush is the less accomplished brother of the worst POTUS since Warren G. Harding.

  174. 174
    ShadeTail says:

    @ruemara: I’ve been paying very close attention, and I couldn’t possibly agree less. Cruz isn’t a believer, he’s a grifter. He’s cut from the same cloth as Sarah “the quitter” Palin, seeking attention and political power just to enrich his bank account. The only real difference between Palin and Cruz is that Cruz is smarter. He knows how to play the crowd and keep from losing the rubes the way Palin did with her incredibly clumsy exit from the 2012 race.

  175. 175
    ThresherK says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: As a no-kidding CFL fan, and a “sell popcorn to the trainwreck of non-citizen Cruz” fan, I was waiting for someone to make that link!

  176. 176
    piratedan says:

    well I’m still afraid of the GOP, they’ve managed to seize control of statehouses, and The House and the Senate… despite being odious fear-mongering fundamentalists and while I blame the amount of money that they’ve thrown at their electoral chances, I put nothing past them in attempting to wrest control of the WH in 2016. Character Assassination, legal chicanery, voter suppression and advertisers that will gladly take a buck to say anything to get paid, regardless of the truth or legality of said statements. These guys already show up on all of the networks and say whatever they damn well want to with hardly any push back unless they err in the most egregious way. They’ve done a great job of saying that Washington is broken and blame the other guy while holding a crowbar behind their backs and they get away with it damn near every time… and the people that enable this shit never take the fall for it.

  177. 177
    J R in WV says:

    I’m old enough to remember the “Daisy” ad against Barry Goldwater, the 30 second commercial with a pretty little girl pulling the petals off a daisy in the foreground, with a nuclear bomb going off in the background. It killed Goldwater’s candidacy even though it only ran for a single day.

    It woke people up to the probability that a nuclear war might actually take place if Goldwater won, and the fact that if there was a nuclear war, there would be no winners. These rapture-bound pseudo-Christian monsters are vulnerable in exactly the same way. And Hillary wouldn’t hesitate to use that fact to win election. At least I hope so!

    Back when Lord Reagan ran and won, one of my best friends had a short speech in the style of old-time tent revivalist preachers about Gog and Magog, and how they were Iraq and Iran, and the woman Gary Hart got caught with was eventually found lying low in (I think) Babylon, NY, so that fit right into the Armeggidon Rapture in Revelations. So Reagan was bound to usher in Armeggidon and bring about the Rapture, so that true believers could go straight to heaven without lying in the grave for centuries.

    I’m not sure if that line of thought helped Reagan win election or not. I’ve read some amazing lies about Jimmy Carter lately, I don’t think those lies played a big part in the election – but who knows? I’m a yellow dog Democrat, and have never hid it, so people might not tell me the latest dirty scoop on the Democratic candidate. And back then we didn’t have the innertubes passing that gossip around without a loyalty check first.

    I’m about done with forecasting elections. I’m just enjoying seeing the next impossible thing come to pass, and wondering just how impossible things can get before I die. Things are pretty interesting so far!

    There’s a boundary layer in geology where lots of iridium (a rare earth metallic element, very rare on Earth but much more common in meteorites) occurs, just when the dinosaurs went away in the geologic record. Sometimes, late at night, I wonder if maybe at the end of the rule of the Dinosaurs there was a class of weapons invented using lots of Iridium, and that’s why the Dinosaurs went away so suddenly.

    Maybe in 600,000,000 years a new intelligent species will wonder about the sudden increase in radioactive elements, strange and mostly impossible radioactive elements, all over the world, over half-a-billion years ago.

    Maybe they will wonder if somehow the ancient monkeys used radiation in some way that caused the world to be drenched in nearly impossible radioactive elements? Just before the monkeys disappeared? Here’s hoping they don’t speculate too much about how that class of weapons might operate!

  178. 178
    max says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s way too early to tell, but i could see Walker beating Jeb. I don’t think Jeb’s gonna fare well in the primary debates

    I could see it – in another reality. Walker’s a fairly terrible retail politican and the establishment knives are out for him and he’s getting a little deflated looking.

    Meantime, if you’ll recall the drastically reduced the number of debates in the primaries this go around.

    max
    [‘Gee, I wonder why they did that?’]

  179. 179
    hoodie says:

    The way Romney bowed out, I suspect this one is Jeb’s to lose, and it will take a boatload of charisma to overcome that. Cruz doesn’t have it. These guys all think they’re the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan but, to borrow from Lloyd Bentsen, I knew Ronald Reagan and Cruz is no Ronald Reagan (neither was Reagan BTW). You have to be a special talent – like Obama – to beat the establishment favorite, because you need to be able to mobilize voters that might otherwise sit on the sidelines. Reagan mobilized a certain insurgent base in the GOP when he ran against Jerry Ford, and even then he had to wait until 1980. Cruz may be thinking about positioning for 2020, thinking that Jeb will likely lose to Hillary.

  180. 180
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Cruz has all but asked for the GOP primaries to be ratfucked. Who are we to deny him?

  181. 181
    raven says:

    People keep talking about what Cruz “thinks”. Give me a break.

  182. 182
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @raven: His prehensile tail twitches, and he reacts.

    @J R in WV: The cats will all say “those monkeys with the can openers, they killed a good thing.”

  183. 183
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven:

    People keep talking about what Cruz “thinks”. Give me a break.

    Do you mean because you believe him incapable, or deficient of thinking? Or because you feel he “believes” instead of logically runs through his options?

  184. 184
    Jeffro says:

    The GOP base absolutely loves Cruz and he will do very, very well. Note: the guy has no baggage in their eyes. He has never betrayed them (like Rubio), never gotten loser stink on him (like Santorum and Perry), hasn’t embarrassed himself publicly (like Jindal), and isn’t squishy on interventionism (like Paul).

    He lays the rhetorical wood to Obama and Obamacare at every possibility and doesn’t care that he terrified a 4-year-old girl with such talk – he laughs it off. He’s utterly shameless and will not waste two seconds defending himself on any topic at any time (mostly because he ‘knows’ he’s always right and always has been, and also because it’s smart sound-bite politics for low-info, all-gut primary voters). People who argue whether he is believer or a grifter are missing the point – he is both and either whenever he wants to be.

    A while back I made a comment that he would run and do very well, and that it’d be easy to see him extorting his way onto the ticket in the VP slot. I still think that’s in the realm of possibility. Bush would shore up every last bit of the base by putting Cruz on the ticket, too.

    However it all plays out, Democrats from the eventual nominee on down better get their message straight: practically speaking, there’s not a lick of difference between these GOPers. They are still about cutting taxes for the rich, letting corporations run the country, and throwing our military weight around the world without thinking for even a moment.

  185. 185
    Corner Stone says:

    @max:

    Walker’s a fairly terrible retail politican and the establishment knives are out for him and he’s getting a little deflated looking.

    Walker is a lesser-establishment version of Santorum. Just because the Koch bros want to fund a sockpuppet doesn’t yet mean he’s going to be there at nut cutting time. Because he will not be.

  186. 186
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jeffro:

    Bush would shore up every last bit of the base by putting Cruz on the ticket, too.

    Absolutely not. Cruz would not accept second banana and he is going to spend all his campaign driving home the difference between himself and the squish establishment hand picked Bush.
    It’s not going to be any where near as poilite as the GHWB “voodoo economics” shot he took at Saint Ronnie.
    Cruz will not be on any GOP ballot for the general election.

  187. 187
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone: “Cruz would not accept second banana” doesn’t refute what I said. Putting Cruz in as VP would in fact shore Bush up completely with the base. Whether Cruz would accept it or not is another matter. And for that, I am leaning on the history of the GOP’s money wing picking a more palatable, moderate-appearing candidate in the end.

    Bush has already cleared a great deal of space in the middle, scared off Romney, and eliminated any rationale for Christie to run. He is vacuuming up the dollars. Cruz will definitely get support from the evangelical/Tea Party wing. But if it comes down to Bush w/ 51% of the primary votes and Cruz w/ 49%, you don’t think Cruz will take the VP nod? Why not? He’d have nothing at all to lose – win and you’re the frickin’ VP, lose and you’re the presumptive front-runner next time around.

  188. 188
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Cruz is a singularly unlikeable man, which makes him singularly attractive to the GOP primary electorate.

  189. 189
  190. 190
    MazeDancer says:

    Ted Cruz had daddy issues way beyond the usual for politicians.

    Daddy Cruz is kind of more like a right wing Rev Wright situation.

    Interviews and past quotes and video clips featuring Ted’s Dad will actually test just how full-fledged haterville crazy the GOP base is willing to go. And how much IOKIYAR the media is willing to do.

  191. 191
    Keith G says:

    @Jeffro: Bar Bush is not big on forgiveness and Cruz is no shrinking violet who will have to go after Jeb in very personal ways. No matter what else is at stake, that alone will keep Cruz out of truthful consideration for a #2 to Jeb.

  192. 192
  193. 193
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jeffro: It actually does refute what you said. Firstly, Cruz would not accept it. But just as integral is that anyone who has watched Cruz burn every possible bridge to comity in the Senate knows they would never pick him. Who does he deliver? Jeb already has Texas. It’s reasonable to think he could possibly change FL to R for his run. SC, GA, KY, MS, AR, LA…which of these does Cruz deliver?
    And Cruz isn’t looking for a handout. He’s the man and that’s who he’s going to be, in his eyes.

    ETA, the states above are going to probably go R no matter who the nom is. So the question is, who does Cruz deliver that Jeb doesn’t already get?

  194. 194
    Ruckus says:

    @WereBear:
    Mean is strength. A cornerstone of conservatives.

  195. 195
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I said yesterday this Cruz fellow has a grating voice, a creepy manner, a feeble grasp of reality, and delusional policy ideas. (I say this today, too.)
    Even if you share the latter two with him, you won’t like the first two.

    That’s my take on Cruze too. Even if he gets the primary he will just look like a fat, mouthy kid standing next to Hilary Clinton in a debate. While there is a 1/3 of the GOP who might love that, the rest of the voters won’t.

  196. 196
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    As Bill Clinton said something like ‘ Americans prefer strong and wrong, rather than right and weak’. Cruz is always on full-attack and never acknowledges even to himself, any errors or mistakes, and looks strong if you are info-deficient. So, he should do well. It is perilous to underestimate him.

  197. 197
    karen marie says:

    @HRA: Not true. You need only one.

  198. 198
    karen marie says:

    @PhoenixRising: You are wrong. McCain’s parents are American, therefore he is American, regardless of where he was born or how long his parents were out of the US. Same as George Romney, born in Mexico of American parents.

  199. 199
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @piratedan:

    They’ve managed to seize control of statehouses

    31 out of 50. Another 8 are split, and three of those states have R governors.

    This is a major problem… but nowhere near as interesting as speculating about who the bestest Not-Hilary is.

  200. 200
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cervantes: The Constitution does promise to each state a Republican form of Fovernment…

  201. 201
    Cervantes says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Could not agree more.

  202. 202
    Mike G says:

    Borowitz had the best headline on this:

    “Disturbed Canadian man tries to get into White House”

  203. 203
    myiq2xu says:

    @HRA: It’s gonna be fun watching Buffoon Juice go full birther if Cruz is the nominee.

  204. 204
    WaterGirl says:

    @myiq2xu: Not gonna happen. Birthers are ignorant and uninformed. Say what you want about the unwashed masses at BJ, we are neither ignorant nor uninformed.

  205. 205
    Montarvillois says:

    Where are the Birthers now?

  206. 206
    James Beare says:

    In the biographical article about Hedi Cruz seeking to help the poor by working at Goldman Sacs, you misunderstood the warped version of noblesse oblige that fanatical conservatives work from. They fervently believe that by making the rich get richer they enable richer crumbs to fall from the rich man’s table and more adequately nourish the poor.

  207. 207
    Woody Peckerwood says:

    @Scott:

    “He hasn’t done a damn thing as Senator. He making his announcement at Liberty University in Virginia, not Texas. He has been campaigning non stop on the taxpayer’s dollar since his election.”

    Hussain did exactly the same thing. Lots of similarities. White mother, minority father, one term Senator.

    Apparently, he’s qualified.

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