Spoiler alert: Ted Cruz will not be the Republican nominee for president but he will build a valuable mailing list.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 23, 2015
By Sunday night, TedCruz.org was live as the senator’s presidential campaign site. The campaign failed to secure TedCruz.com, which features a pro-Obama message… – Politico
Dave Weigel, Bloomberg Politics:
Announcing his presidential bid at Liberty University is giving Ted Cruz something that some candidates dream of: A massive crowd that has to be there. The Texas senator is speaking at the Christian university’s convocation, a mandatory event for the school’s students, held in the made-for-TV Vines center.
Not everyone enrolled at Liberty University, which says it has more than 13,500 residential students, is thrilled by this. According to an organizer with Young Americans for Liberty, the group started in 2008 by former Texas Representative Ron Paul, around a dozen Liberty undergrads had been ready to start a Students for Rand Paul chapter. They took the Cruz visit as an opportunity to start promoting the cause and signing up their peers…
By announcing so early, Cruz is giving up what Bush has now: A long in-between period to shake the $ tree. One reason: His is a bonsai tree.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) March 22, 2015
Margaret Talev, Jonathan Allen & David Weigel, Bloomberg Politics, yesterday:
Senator Ted Cruz’s plan to kick off his presidential campaign on Monday at Liberty University is an acknowledgement by the Texas freshman, firebrand, and tea-party candidate of just how difficult a path he faces to the Republican nomination and how crucial it may be for him to break out first and seize attention early…
The timing and focus may help Cruz, who lacks the major Wall Street backing of hopefuls such as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, build a national donor base for the $40 million to $50 million he’ll seek for a primary. While Cruz is unlikely to draw away early support from establishment-aligned hopefuls such as Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, or Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, his immediate task is to pull supporters away from candidates who’ve shown strength with evangelical voters; namely, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson…
In a crowded field of anti-establishment presidential hopefuls, Cruz has been stuck in the single digits in Bloomberg Politics polls this year in the key nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He also placed a distant third at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, behind Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Walker. He’s trying to change that dynamic and get out ahead of rivals like Paul, who was expected to announce a presidential bid April 7 in Louisville, Ky…
By announcing with a bang at the near-end of a financial reporting quarter, Cruz hopes to raise a bigger sum than any comparable candidate, and, ideally, to crack the $1 million mark. Cruz has already won over Fort Worth money manager Hal Lambert, who backed former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s 2012 bid. He’s also courted some of the evangelical donors who backed the Huckabee and Santorum campaigns. (A question to Santorum donor Foster Friess was returned with an apology: “Foster’s focus is on helping to arm the Kurds so he will not be considering any new projects for several months.”)…
Cruz’s skeptics—and there are many in the GOP—brought up his lack of concrete Senate victories right away. Strategists for potential 2016 rivals see Cruz as a reliable and opportunistic ally of the groups that set up endless litmus tests for conservatives, setting up most Republicans to fail while a few members of the party can cast pure “no” votes. Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, hosted Bush at his home this month, then told a radio interview that Cruz would never “darken my doorstep.”
“Here’s a question: How many of his Senate colleagues will endorse him?” asked Cullen, who had met Cruz in 2010 at a Heritage Foundation conference and soured on him after seeing his work in the Senate. “There’s a significant block of votes for the I-don’t-give-a-damn candidate. They’re not interested in someone with accomplishments. They’re interested in someone who fights. If Ted Cruz’s strategy is to be the most conservative candidate and unite the right wing, he’ll be a finalist—but the problem is that lots of candidates have tried that, and failed. The only person I can think of who tried and succeeded was Pat Buchanan in 1996.” …
The only first announcers to secure nominations since the second half of the 20th century were Democrats Adlai Stevenson in 1956 and George McGovern in 1972.
The best way to think of the Cruz candidacy is as a long and expensive audition for a Fox News show.
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) March 23, 2015
Apart from the Cruz-ifiction Circus, what’s on the agenda for the evening?