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).