Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ted Cruz: What's He Thinking?

Imma Be President Some Day!!
Ted Cruz skips the turns-out-its-not-obligatory exploratory committee phase of campaigning and dives in. The Omnivore had previously declared he could not win--but he's clearly in-it-to-WIN-IT! What's going on?

He's Got No Chance
The math-heads conclude that Cruz is a loser: he's too far right, too disliked, and maybe too crazy to win the nomination--much less the presidency. He's not the kind of candidate whose a natural money-maker (Rick Perry, at least, has Texas Oil money). He's got charisma, sure, but that ain't enough.

Then there's the matter of the roll out. Here's a screenshot of
Oh--and redirects here:
It's not an auspicious start, basically.

On the other hand . . .

Hey--If Obama Won . . .
The Federalist gives Ted a boost: Here's 3 reasons he could win:

  • He's aces with the base--best matchup ever.
  • This nomination is about who has done the most to fight! Ted has fought Obamacare. Ted has fought amnesty. The other guys are light-weights!
  • Ted's pure--everyone else is selling out to Wall Street and the establishment.
So, uh, yeah? Maybe?

Certainly by jumping in first--exploratory committee be damned--he's got a leg up on some of his other also-ran rivals. He gets spotlight while they're still 'exploring' (Rubio/Dora '16?). He's also got a bit of a cachet: There really is no one else like him. Cruz occupies a singular space in current conservative thought. It's not, exactly necessarily a good one. His shutdown gambit was seen as the right idea but, in the end it did lose. He's not all that experienced--a first term Senator--like . . . some other guy who did get to the White House--and what a disaster that was!

Still, yeah: anything could happen right?

The Take Away: Good News For Hillary
This graph shows the match-up of who people's second-choices are in an election (if held TODAY!):

The Omnivore has lit up the Cruz-Column: People who like Ted also like:

  • Walker (the most: 78%)
  • Carson (just second( 77%)
  • Perry (beating out Rand Paul at 76%)
Basically, people who like Ted Cruz like other candidates who also have no chance except for Walker. This means that support is going to bleed in the direction of the electable Walker from all angles. If Ted, Carson, and possibly Perry really, truly believe they have a chance they need to take out Walker. That's good news for Hillary and Jeb as Walker is their major threat (right now).
Turns Out It's Pretty Hard To Take Out A Walker . . .
Politico writes that Cruz is Hillary's "Wrecking Ball"

Democrats from both inside and outside the Clinton camp have groused for months that the all-but-certain candidate was moving too slowly in formulating and projecting a rationale for running for the White House outside of her gender and the dreaded “it’s my time” argument. She was relying too much on a platform of inevitability, they said — the same platform that doomed her bid in 2008. But those closest to the former secretary of state have counseled patience, arguing that a core element of Clinton’s plan was to get out of the way and let the dueling wings of the Republican Party savage each other while she floats above it all.

Cruz, they say, is Hillary’s wrecking ball.

So: What IS He Thinking?
If Cruz is so potentially disruptive, why is he doing this? Does he, polling near the bottom of the pack, delusionally think he has a real shot at winning? Is he just trying to raise his national profile? Does he think God is telling him to run? What's going on?

The Omnivore looks at it this way:
  1. People who say God is telling them to run are not humble about it. If they think they are called, you'll hear it (Exception: Possibly Romney since him talking about his religion was counter to his campaign strategy). Ted Cruz does not think he is divinely called to run.
  2. Raising your national profile doesn't work if you get curb-stomped. If Cruz were floating a candidacy on the basis that he would be positioning himself for 2020 or something, this isn't the way to do it. Unless he has some Sheldon Adelson dollars in the bag already, if he fails to get funding, he just goes out looking like a flop. That's not profile you want to 'raise.' Ted is not just doing this for air-time.
  3. On the other hand, he brought the US Government to a stand-still previously and he was willing to take the bad-press. Whatever else you can say about him, Ted Cruz isn't a coward. He's brave enough to rush in where even angels fear to tread.
This is where The Omnivore comes down: To the world-view of a real, non-cynical, rock-ribbed conservative, of which Cruz most definitely is one, the pack right now has two very 'fragile' leaders. It has Jeb Bush who leads to the extent he does because of the establishment and his name.

Forget about the "basic sanity" that Jeb seems to possess or any quality of being "statesmanlike"--to Cruz, Jeb is an America-Ending disaster waiting to happen (or, at least, another huge Bush-sized nail in her coffin). Even if Jeb doesn't sink America, if he ran and won, it would definitely send conservatives into a spin-out. Jeb isn't even against common core.

Walker, on the other hand, has a lot of the right moves--so far--but no one knows how he'll hold up. If Walker collapses for whatever reason, there will be a vacuum into which Cruz, Rubio, and . . . maybe Perry or Jindal will rush to fill.

What Cruz is thinking is this (Imagine deep, resonant Ted Cruz voice): I could definitely beat Jindal . . . hell, a soggy straw-wrapper could beat Jindal. Perry . . . hmm . . . those new glasses do make him look smarter--but I could take him in a debate. I can aw-shucks bettern' him and I'm way better educated. Rubio could be tough--fucker is smart, alright. But he chokes under pressure--ha hah! The Water Bottle?? Remember that? I'll just smirk and take a sip every time he's talking and he'll have an aneurysm right there on stage! I could beat Rubio.

After that, he just has to wrestle Huckabee away from the right, duck under Rick Santorum's wide, lazy, left hook, and he's home free.

He's thinking that if Walker goes down: It's ON. He just has to stick it out until then.

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