May 4, 2016

Are you reading the post-mortems on Ted Cruz?

I've been avoiding things like "What Went Wrong for Ted Cruz" (in The Weekly Standard).

I think it's impressive he got as far as he did. Why fuss over why he didn't do more?

58 comments:

MikeR said...

Word. "What went wrong for Bernie Sanders?"

PB said...

We know what's wrong with Hillary.

Alexander said...

I know. Isn't the question: How did Ted Cruz ever get so far? The answer being, probably, through a combination of incredible strategic and tactical intelligence with remarkable, dogged determination in setting up his ground game. But all of that can only do so much when the candidate isn't carrying the message people want to join, and isn't charismatic enough to make that a non-issue.

Damn it, Rubio.

Nichevo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cubanbob said...

Done is done and Cruz is a young man and has a future. Too bad there is the bad blood between Trump and Cruz because now would be the perfect time for Trump to take over the Cruz ground machine in order to win in the general. No denying Trump has been a phenomena and done amazingly well but going forward he is going to need more than bombast and bullshit to win the election and winning the election isn't going to be done on the cheap with mostly free advertising by the MSM. He needs a real ground game now and is going to need a real fundraising operation. He isn't going to get much free publicity going forward now that he is the nominee and not the guy the MSM had hopped would bring the Republican Party Temple down. I think I'll send Bernie a check to keep hope alive, hoping the Democrat Convention becomes a mess when the criminal wing and the communist wing go at each other.

Nonapod said...

Turns out the populists outnumber the ideologues. In order for a Real Conservative™ to actually stand a chance, he or she has to be very personally charismatic. Ted Cruz, for whatever reason, just wasn't particularly personally charismatic or appealing, especially when compared to Trump. Most voters choose candidates and presidents largely on personality and not so much on ideology or record or any objective facts. This isn't exactly news, but it is a bit depressing.

Cruz had a pretty good record of conservatism... maybe not unassailable... but pretty good. But his demeanor and at times aggressiveness turned a lot of people off. The narrative that "he doesn't work well with others" really stuck to him. Words like "creepy" and "nasty" were used a great deal to describe him. I don't think it's entirely fair, but that's the way it was.

walter said...

cubanbob said...He isn't going to get much free publicity going forward now that he is the nominee

I bet he will get plenty of free advertising..it just won't be "nice". Prepare for pouting.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think it was that tough. Cruz was never going to get the nomination unless the moderate candidate knocked off everyone else, then self-destructed. Ultimately, he was the candidate of the religious right and the dogmatic conservatives, which are a sizable demographic, but fewer than needed to win the nomination. Trump was the candidate of the Republicans who put winning, esp against Hillary, above ideological purity. After 7+ years of Obama and his feckless, disasterous, policies, winning for a majority was more important.

Trump is right - Cruz did a phenomenal job here, sticking in, and winning bruising contests. He was far better organized than Trump, and that showed in places like CO, where Trump's lack of preparation cost him delegates. Cruz was not only the smartest guy in the room, he was also one of the hardest working and best prepared. I am glad that Trump lauded him last night.

tim maguire said...

What went wrong is Trump got stronger instead of weaker. Contrary to expectations (including mine), Trump was the second choice of a lot of people. If Cruz forced a fight in Cleveland, his political career would be over. He's young. By bowing out now, he lives to fight another day.

Michael K said...

"Too bad there is the bad blood between Trump and Cruz "

Yes, I was hoping Cruz would see the inevitable and join Trump as VP. I don't think that is possible now. Gingrich is 72. Trump needs a younger VP who knows Washington.

Eleanor said...

Ted Cruz made the mistake a lot of Republican politicians and pundits make. The Republican tent is bigger than they think it is. They work really hard at pushing the people who don't conform to their idea of what it means to be a Republican out the tent door. The party used to be pretty diverse. There were Rockefeller Republicans, Goldwater Republicans, folks who "liked Ike". Reagan opened the door to disaffected Democrats. Trump invited everybody in with the idea they all have a common goal, and there's room to talk about how to get there. Inclusionary as opposed to exclusionary. No litmus test about what it means to be a "true conservative. If any one of the candidates who ran can unite the party, it's Trump. Otherwise, the Republicans will become a niche party.

walter said...

Soon the self-funding mantra will be gone as he works to get loans of his money to his campaign paid back.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I wouldn't be able to pick Ted Cruz out of a police lineup.

Yes, I'm boasting.

Lyle Smith said...

I enjoyed reading the tweets of some National Review folks talking about moving to Belize. True Americans!

Lyle Smith said...

I don't think there is any bad blood between Cruz and Trump. Cruz is a Trump supporter now. Cruz is no dummy.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The sequence here is odd. Cruz's deal with Kasich implied staying in the race through the states he was ceding to Kasich in return for Kasich ceding Indiana. Picking Fiorina as his running mate implied staying in through her home state of California. Then Trump accuses Cruz's father of involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald in the morning and Cruz exits the race the same evening.

I will say that his wife looked happy when he took the stage for his exit speech.

He's got a future if Trump wins. Otherwise, he's just be the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Hillary.

walter said...

Kasich's out. Boehener thanks him for his duty.

Amexpat said...

I think it's impressive he got as far as he did.

I find it depressing that he got as far as he did.

walter said...

"Sloppy Kasich!"

walter said...

Trump's faux respect for Cruz at this point comes from the same well that prompted him to leverage the Clintons to his 3rd wedding.

Balfegor said...

Re: Alexander:

If Rubio hadn't been stupid enough -- and let's call it what it was: rank stupidity -- to get on the wrong side of the immigration issue, I don't think the original opening for Donald Trump would even have been there. His supporters today -- more than half of the Republican party -- aren't all immigration hawks. But he needed that opportunity. All his talents at impromptu speech-making would not have availed him, if the leading lights of the GOP had not decided to go all in on rewarding illegal immigrants. They chose, and chose poorly.

damikesc said...

Yes, I was hoping Cruz would see the inevitable and join Trump as VP.

Accusing one's father of being an accessory to the assassination of JFK might harden feelings a bit.

Michael K said...

Fred Barnes piece about Cruz is pretty good. I think he got most of it right. They all missed the anger of the base at the professional politician class. Not a big surprise as they are members.

Tank said...

So, you have a business owned by two guys. One guy is a perfect front man, a salesman, a magnet. The other guy is perfect for the backroom nitty gritty and details.

The backroom guy can't magically be the front guy.

walter said...

damikesc,
Yes..but he got really deep in the gutter with Carson and he still fell in line. Ridiculous.

Levi Starks said...

Trying to maintain a focus on Ted / Trump serves only one purpose, and that is to avoid a focus on Hillary / Sanders. Which has always been a closer race than the Republican side.
I'm certainly glad I wasn't part of Hillary inner circle of advisers last night, because I'm gonna guess she was really ticked.
I can only imagine how grueling it must be to wake up the next day after getting trounced by Bernie, and facing the uncertainty of not knowing if today is the day Obama decides to drop a long distance bomb on me.

damikesc said...

Yes..but he got really deep in the gutter with Carson and he still fell in line. Ridiculous.

Carson and Christie come across as clowns. Buffoonish ones to boot. Cruz owes Trump nothing and I'd take the insults of my family a bit personally.

Michael K said...

"Accusing one's father of being an accessory to the assassination of JFK might harden feelings a bit."

I was referring to earlier. Cruz was also throwing a lot of stuff against the wall. It got pretty nasty the past two weeks or so.

The Rafael Cruz-Oswald story is here.

It sounds dubious but there is a thread of plausibility.

The Enquirer has a testimonial from Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos, a California-based digitizing photo service, who told the tabloid, “There’s more similarity than dissimilarity. . . . it looks to be the same person and I can say as much with a high degree of confidence.”

And Carole Lieberman, a University of California - Los Angeles forensic psychiatrist and expert witness based in Beverly Hills, California, compared the photos and told the Enquirer “they seem to match.” Neither Goldstone nor Lieberman returned phone calls from McClatchy.


Trump does throw out dubious stories he heard from others.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Trump's faux respect for Cruz at this point comes from the same well that prompted him to leverage the Clintons to his 3rd wedding"

I'm guessing real respect between political rivals is vanishingly rare.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Balfegor said..If Rubio hadn't been stupid enough -- and let's call it what it was: rank stupidity -- to get on the wrong side of the immigration issue, I don't think the original opening for Donald Trump would even have been there.

Absolutely correct, but it's even worse--it's not just that he was on the wrong side of the issue, it's that he made his begin on the wrong side a main selling point! He attacked those who disagreed with the Gang of 8 in exactly the same manner a Democrat would (will!) and made his immigration stance a big part of his sales pitch for himself at exactly the wrong time. The only way that makes sense is if he really thought comprehensive "reform" would get passed quickly AND accepted by the Repub. base (as a "closed issue") which it should have been obvious to everyone was not going to happen.
Head-slappingly stupid; if he had been on the wrong side but softly he would have stood a chance (and could have made a big-tent type of spin, etc), but as you said he chose poorly. Without Gang of 8 I have to think Rubio's the likely nominee and Clinton'd be a lot more worried today.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Michael K said...It sounds dubious but there is a thread of plausibility.

Try and imagine the world of things that statement would cover, Michael, and ask yourself how much you should respect any national figure who asserts some idiotic thing that criteria would permit.

Balfegor said...

Re: Cruz as VP, I guess he's fine as an attack dog, but demographically and strategically he really does nothing for Trump. If Texas is in play, Trump has already lost. Cruz is Hispanic, but has never played it up, as far as I can tell, and he doesn't seem to have strong ties to the US Hispanic community (his father, after all, is Canadian).

Susana Martinez is -- just on demographics -- probably the best choice for Trump. She's not totally incompatible on paper. She started out as a Democrat too, and became Republican, has expressed some trepidation about refugee resettlement, is a popular governor, etc. New Mexico is not a big state, electorally, but it has been trending Democratic, so there might also be a (small) opportunity there.

No idea what her opinion of Trump is, though, so I must assume she detests him.

Quaestor said...

Cruz's biggest mistake was accepting such hysterical support from the likes of Glenn Beck. I've often said I'd support the Party's nominee whoever that may be. However, when Beck started invoking god on behalf of Cruz I began to dread the possibility of a Cruz presidency.

Two explanations of that bizarre alliance have occurred to me, neither reflecting political competency. The first and most unlike is that Cruz actually believed that shit. The ONE THING our broken society doesn't need is someone in the White House who thinks he's divinely appointed. If Cruz was sincere then he's nuts, no question. If he was insincere then he's a grifter. The second is desperation. It is likely that Cruz felt compelled to clutch at straws, consequently he gratefully accepted Beck's endorsement in Utah in order to win somewhere. Unfortunately the deal with Beck was faustian at the core, and Cruz lacked the aplomb to isolate Beck without alienating those voters Beck's endorsement secured. Machiavelli recognized that a leader must have the skill to cement and break alliances and simultaneously minimize the repercussions.The fact that he allowed Beck to pull his drama queen stunts betokens a deep-seated weakness that would make a Cruz presidency a disaster.

Levi Starks said...

Hillary would love to see Cruze as the VP.
She'd much rather run against him.

AReasonableMan said...

I just finished listening to the first hour of Rush Limbaugh's show. He sounded completely lost. It appears that Rush didn't expect Trump to win the nomination, even if he felt he had to pander to his radio audience by appearing to support Trump.

Also, the quality of the ads he was playing was very low. There is no way he is covering his contract expenses for his employer. This has been a bad cycle for Limbaugh.

Brando said...

"Carson and Christie come across as clowns. Buffoonish ones to boot. Cruz owes Trump nothing and I'd take the insults of my family a bit personally."

After mocking Cruz's wife's looks and spreading tabloid smears about affairs and the laughable story about his dad being involved in the JFK assassination, it'd be hard to respect Cruz at all if he made up with Trump, particularly as it's inconceivable for a man like Trump to apologize. Basically it says "you can trash my wife and father with unfounded crap, but I'll take it if it gets me ahead".

And frankly, the fact that Trump has now reached Peak Tin Foil Hat--birther, 9/11 truther, anti-vaxxer and now JFK conspiracy loon--Republicans who back this guy no longer can mock the loony left.

Robin Eatmon said...

Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio should not have run for President this time around. Republicans had just taken the majority in the senate and they blew the opportunity to change course just to blow precious time on running for President. Pure vanity.
I just read on Drudge...$75 million spent on negative ads on Trump...much of it by so called fellow Republicans. Pure Stupidity!
Certain pundits, media personalities and journalists (that I really liked) are now in a huff because they started a war against Trump and his supporters that didn't end well and they are crying foul. They may have the last laugh but the energy spent on upending Trump instead of Hillary or Bernie or in positive support of their own candidate is something I just don't understand.

SteveR said...

Cruz has several negatives to winning the nomination and more so, to being elected president. By the end of the campaign, he began looking extra lawyer swarmy.

I've lost a lot of respect for the National Review crowd. Nothing's pure enough for them and when the survivor emerges (e.g. McCain) he's unelectable.

holdfast said...

Yes, I was hoping Cruz would see the inevitable and join Trump as VP. I don't think that is possible now. Gingrich is 72. Trump needs a younger VP who knows Washington.

Nah, Cruz is not that guy. I expect he and Trump will bury the hatchet - both are ambitious and Cruz is smart (Donald is cunning), but Cruz would be a lousy VP candidate, and adds no useful demographics or geography.

Now AG and/or USSC nominee I could see / hope for. By getting out now, Cruz has kept his future options open.

pm317 said...

No, it was not impressive. it was scary as far as he got with all his rhetoric and supporters like Glenn Beck making it a divine intervention.

hombre said...

Brandon at 12:26 sums things up nicely. Trump and his disciples not only rival but exceed Obama Democrats in sleaze peddling.

It is understandable that Cruz allowed himself to be goaded into personalities with other candidates, but it cost him dearly. Trump, particularly, has no scruples about smearing the opposition.

I am embarrassed for self-proclaimed Evangelicals who support Trump. He neither shares nor reflects Christian values as is evident from both the content and conduct of his campaign.

William Chadwick said...

To augment what I've written previously: This country is not only screwed, but screwed-up. In a country founded on the notion of a limited, constitutional government and individual liberty, any candidate running on such a platform is greeted by, at best, indifference, or more likely hostility and ridicule. So now the Land of the Free gets to choose between Trump (who if he's expressed any great devotion to individual liberty, I've missed it) and the Alinskyite Witch. Adam Carolla wrote a book called "In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks." I predict that in fifty years we'll all be the State's good little Eloi.

traditionalguy said...

What I object to is the continuous frog croaking slanders made daily against a faithful Calvinist Presbyterian man by ultra Evangelicals Supermen Cubans gone Canadian citizens and then emigrants to Texas that want desperatly the Rule of The Body of Christ starting right now as USA's President chosen by god, before Jesus' return, so they can fool sincere Christians into anointing one of them a Ruling Anti Christ.

Get a life. This is a self governing Scots-Irish Presbyterian country with a separation of Church and State. Not a World Church.

Mountain Maven said...

Not enough conservatives left to vote for Cruz. The beginning of the end was 4 years ago when O was reelected. Now we'll have a husk of a president who can't beat a fossil from the 60s without super delegates.

JPS said...

Holdfast:

I didn't find Cruz an ideal candidate but I have always thought he was principled. If he buries the hatchet with Trump for the sake of his future political ambitions I will regret ever having supported him.

Yes, as pointed out he got nasty. But after that heartfelt rant on Trump yesterday, he really would prove himself just as fake as Shades-Wearing Belligerent Jackass said.

(And incidentally I lost a lot of respect for Bobby Jindal today.)

Sebastian said...

@hombre: "I am embarrassed for self-proclaimed Evangelicals who support Trump. He neither shares nor reflects Christian values" No need to be embarrassed for them: we now know many of them don't mean it. Lesson for the GOP: no more pandering to the Religious Right.

In fact, it's the perfect po-mo election. Nothing and no one means anything. "Evangelicals" like Falwell Jr. don't give a damn about Christianity. People supposedly sick of left identity politics now play their own. Immigration opponents like many Trumpkins support an amnesty proponent. People who oppose the GOPe for not stopping O support a guy to its left. People who disliked O for being a clueless and unprepared, or Hillary! for being a congenital liar, didn't mean it. A clown act is now the way to make American great again.

M Jordan said...

"I am embarrassed for self-proclaimed Evangelicals who support Trump. He neither shares nor reflects Christian values as is evident from both the content and conduct of his campaign."

Sorry to embarrass you. I guess you have more of a theocratic theology than I do.

JPS said...

Sebastian:

"People supposedly sick of left identity politics now play their own."

Junior O'Daniel:

"A lot of people like that re-form. Maybe we should get us some."

mccullough said...

Ted Cruz comes off as less American than Obama. That has been his biggest problem. Obama at least likes basketball and played it in high school. He actually had friends in high school as well, unlike Cruz. As bad as Obama's first pitch at the 2009 all-star game was, he looked like Sandy Koufax compared to Cruz.

Cruz comes off as strange. Even his wife and daughters can't overcome the impression that he is an odd duck. His demeanor, both publicly and according to those who know him, personally, is off putting. The smear about him having a handful of affairs actually helped him since it made him seem more normal.

Cruz has no future in national politics.

Qwinn said...

mccullogh:

Um, I hate basketball, and never played it in high school. This makes me un-American? Screw you and your I've Seen Less Shallow Puddles analysis that just got us the worst November candidates in the country's history.

Qwinn said...

"No litmus test about what it means to be a "true conservative.""

My litmus test for a Republican is generally The Republican Party Platform. Why is that controversial?

Gary Britt said...

If you want to have an insight into what will happen next and what Trump will do next. First listen to all the pundits and conservatives from places like National Review. Then remember whatever they say and whatever they recommende is completely wrong and just as likely to be the opposite of what will happen.

Mary E. Glynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terry said...

"Blogger William Chadwick said...
I predict that in fifty years we'll all be the State's good little Eloi."
Morlocks. You can't have eloi without morlocks. It was a stable, balanced system, until the Nameless Narrator screwed things up.

Birkel said...

There has been a spill on Aisle Crazy.

Michael K said...

"yourself how much you should respect any national figure who asserts some idiotic thing that criteria would permit."

You mean Hillary's campaign saying that Obama was born in Kenya ?

OK I can see that,.

Can you ?

Darrell said...

Rush Limbaugh was not thrown off his game Wednesday. He told listeners why Trump will win in a landslide--and you can find the link at Drudge today.

Darrell said...

Papa Cruz was an admitted "Fidel Stooge" who claims he didn't know that Fidel was a Communist. He was involved in pro-Castro organizations in Texas--as was Oswald. That is an established fact and it makes it possible that the pic is legit. He did hand out Castro flyers and so did Oswald. Papa Cruz also hightailed it to Canada afterward. There may be lots of explanations for that, but avoiding FBI scrutiny/prosecution is certainly one possibility. I'll be glad to go through the FBI files and give you a definitive answer.