A look at Ted Cruz’s election strategy

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The presidential election: While other candidates trash Rand Paul, Donald Trump, and their supporters, Cruz refuses to do so, taking the high road in the expectation that he will eventually win those supporters when Paul and Trump drop out of the campaign.

As Cruz is quoted in this different article,

“I would … note that an awful lot of Republicans, including other Republican candidates, have gone out of their way to smack Donald Trump with a stick. Now I think that’s just foolish,” he said. Asked why, Cruz paused and then replied, “Donald Trump had a rally in Phoenix, Ariz. [to which] between 10 and 20 thousand people came out. When you attack and vilify the people at that rally as crazies, it does nothing to help Republicans win in 2016. I’d like every single person at that rally to show up and vote in 2016, knock on doors with energy and passion, and turn this country around. If Washington politicians show contempt and condescension to those [voters,] that is a path to losing at the ballot box.”

Though I don’t post much about election campaigns, this does not mean I do not follow them closely. Most of what happens is childish drivel (such as last week’s debate and the big to-do between Trump and Megan Kelly), but if you look for real nuggets of information about the candidates you can find them. These two stories illustrate the cool-headed strength of Ted Cruz. His track record shows he is not afraid to fight, but it also appears he knows how to choose his fights well.

I have liked Scott Walker for the same reasons. In Wisconsin he was willing to fight, but kept a cool head and held back from fighting over petty issues. The problem for Walker now is that he has seemed too cool-headed during the campaign, unwilling to do anything that might offend anyone. This is not going to win elections. Nor is it going to change things even if he should win.


  • wodun

    “In Wisconsin he was willing to fight, but kept a cool head and held back from fighting over petty issues. ‘

    I can’t believe he didn’t mention the John Doe investigations in the debate. Maybe he is waiting but I really hope he makes the paramilitary raids on dissidents a national issue.

  • Cotour

    The story you site is an important story but it is not going anywhere as a general part of campaign discussion. Right now, like it or not Trump sucks up the lions share of air in the campaign at the moment. And if he is able to continue this level of pressure he may well survive to become the Republican candidate.

    On Cruz: At this point in the game and his career I would like to see him take Bohner out and head the senate, that IMO is where he belongs. Then in a couple of years president.

    I think Trump, as distasteful as he may be to some has tapped into a phenomenon in the American consciousness, he has the talent to say, not as a part of manipulation but of observation, what a vast number of Americans who feel they have no voice are thinking. Add to that what appears to be his mind being set upon what he says it is set on, being president, and the potential exists for an extreme change in the current disgusting political atmosphere we have had in our country for the past 30 years.

    Another part of the developing Trump phenomenon is that neither the professional politician (except Cruz maybe) nor the media talking heads understands how the general public despises, distrusts and in some cases hates them and crave someone with the vision to accomplish what must be accomplished, a reasonable and benevolent, Conservative, Constitutional revolution!

    The vial Clinton years, the dopey Bush years and the radical leftist anti American Obama years have taken their toll on the people of America and they have had enough!

    That’s my read today, it may change as we proceed into the meat and the mud slinging of the campaign but I am confident in the basic facts that I have laid out.

    A quick story to illustrate: I was at dinner last Sunday at a friends house, my friends wife is a Ted Kennedy Democrat from Boston, voted for Clinton, voted for Obama once (the crack begins?).

    The subject of Trump comes up, I say nothing. Her comment? I love Trump, HE IS AN AMERICAN! I would vote for him.

    I almost fell out of my seat. That is what is brewing in America today and I have heard it from several other people, especially ladies. Love him or loath him.

  • Cotour

    And this is the action by the Republican party leadership that contrary to its intent may well spell the demise of the Republican party as we know know it. There are masses of people who will not be denied their country for a political agenda and the retention of power.


    Unless they make him an offer that he can not refuse (and that could literally mean anything), someone must step up to the George Washington position if the country is to survive as it was intended and not as it was high jacked. And come to think of it the leadership can make it an offer he can not refuse.

  • “On Cruz: At this point in the game and his career I would like to see him take Bohner out and head the senate, that IMO is where he belongs. Then in a couple of years president.”

    John Boehner is the speaker of the House. He is not in the Senate. Ted Cruz, as a Senator, is not in a position to even vote on Boehner as Speaker, no less replace him.

    I think you mean Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who heads the Republican majority in the Senate. Even so, the chances of Cruz replacing McConnell and leading the Senate are less than nil. He isn’t interested, and even if he was very few Republican senators would vote for him.

    It is possible however that Cruz will help engineer McConnell’s replacement, especially if he continues to prove himself as a smart political player.

  • Cotour

    Yes, thank you for the correction. Wanting most of them gone and replaced I mixed the two.

    Your lack of comment on Trump and the on going phenomenon as he connects to the general public interests me more.

  • I think the words “childish drivel” sums up my thoughts on most of what is happening in connection with Trump. The best thing about him right now is that he is helping to drive the discussion in the right direction, which is good. Whether he could be a good president, or a conservative president, remains a complete unknown, however, at this point. His track record of what he has done leaves me doubtful.

    I should note that the substance of much of what Trump has said has not been “childish drivel,” just the manner in which he says it. Some of this is also good, as it forces people to listen. Much more of it is foolishness that we can all do without.

  • Cotour

    I think besides the ginormous ego and constant need to self praise and “childish drivel” (that’s Trump) underneath all of that the people are seeing, like my friends wife noted “an American” and that is crossing party lines and that is what the people are connecting to. And in addition in a simplistic way they are connecting to that “childish drivel” and that is usurping the proforma and mundane political status quo.

    And the status quo does not have any way of dealing with that, they have no counter to that. So if he is true, which it appears he is, then this is going to become very interesting.

    We need George Washington, anything less will result in the status quo and the status quo is a slow motion, one way ticket down the tubes IMO.

  • Joe

    I joke about wanting to vote for Donald Trump, but I do not really know who he is, is he a conservative or a liberal, he is not consistent, what I do like about Trump is his ability to stand up to the press and take no crap! It’s early in the campaign season, Trump does a lot to direct the issues that are important like unfair trade and ilegal immigration. When I do donate to a campaign, it will likely be for Ted Cruz.

  • Cotour

    I hear you, but the point is that he has your undivided attention and if he is true he will develop the answers about himself that you need to better judge whether he is worthy of your vote. I suspect that he is a kind of a blended political mix that is dominated by the Conservative Republican flavor with a dose of reasonable liberalism mixed in.

    As far as Cruz goes I see him as more of a Constitutional / political technician and that is why I want him to lead the Senate, that’s the kind of leadership it sorely needs. Trump, even though he is a bit of a an ego maniac has more of a general all around like ability to him and believe it or not he is less polarizing than Cruz tends to be.

    We will see how it shakes out, keep in mind, trust none of them. That must be the general public’s default position.

  • Cotour

    Here you see the media (Mediaite) is either not properly reading the Trump phenomenon or wishing it was something else as it relates to how women perceive him.


    I think the Trump nuance when he attacks women who oppose or tick him off is key and is in general miss read by the media.


    How and when he does it tends to not repel women. Why? He attacks, fires or “straightens out” very beautiful women, who the everyday women might not have a big problem with for various reasons and not so attractive and obnoxious women like Rosie O’donell who they also might not have any big problem with. Boiled down I believe that the every day American woman intuitively perceives Trump as being 1. Intensely American and a patriot 2. An alpha male winner, and what woman deep down inside has a problem with that? No matter their protestations. and 3. They tend to see him similarly to the men that they love and are involved with who like Trump have their bumps and pet peaves with women but are in general good hearted and have their respect related to how hard they work to keep them happy in the American culture within which they are immersed.

    The media and the political class is either unable or unwilling to recognize these fundamentals about Trump.

  • Edward


    I think that your friend’s wife likes Trump because he is a progressive Democrat, even if he is wearing Republican clothing, right now.

    Trump may be focusing the debate, but his ideas make for poor governance. Even a benign dictator would not be talking about forcing Mexico to pay for a fence between our countries, much less a freedom-loving president of a republic or a democracy.

    Meanwhile, all the attention on him is just noise, to me. It gets in the way of learning about the four people I want to know more about. As far as I am concerned, there are only four people running who would turn this country around (Trump is not one of them), and I want to know which of them have the ability to do so, in addition to the will to do so.

    Trump’s rhetoric (e.g. making Mexico pay) sounds more like “I will give you free stuff,” and the effect is similar. It sounds good when said really fast, and it is popular. However, it is impractical as a policy.

    The trick is to take the focus on Trump and turn it into a focus on the ideas and policies that will make this a free country, once again. We need to show the voters that the policies of the past couple of decades are why we are in the mess that we are in, and that we were in less of a mess before these socialist policies took hold in America. Trump is not doing that, and the attention on him prevents anyone else from doing it, either.

    Most Americans, when asked, favor freedom, but they vote for tyranny, because they feel sorry for those whom they think need “free stuff.” Too many people think others are incapable of managing their own lives without being wards of the state, but they also think that they themselves are the capable ones, even as they line up for the available free stuff (e.g. school lunches for the middle class and mortgage interest deductions).

    The truth is that most of us can take care of ourselves. We just have to make everyone be responsible for themselves rather than make the government responsible for everyone.

  • Cotour

    What you state is logical and reasonable and its not that I disagree with you, I am just recognizing the phenomenon that Trump is at the moment. However, logical and reasonable does not reflect what is happening in our country’s politics. Never has, never will.

    Trump similar to Obama is unconventional and is “refreshing” in many ways in the public’s mind and if he intends, as it appears that he is, really serious then we are all going to have to do some recalculating our presidential wish list.

    Trumps talk of building a fence and having the Mexican’s paying for it is much more than just the sum total of the words in the sentence. Trump has a talent for speaking and creating simple symbology (new word) that the general public can readily identify with. I think it is half a function of his personality and half a refined technique. And it is very effective.

    I will share a short Trump story with you to illustrate my point. Years ago a friend of mine rode in his helicopter as he, Trump and one of Trumps sons were flying to a football game venue. And when I say “flying to the venue” I mean he had the pilot land the helicopter in the middle of the football field in front of the packed stadium. His son asked the father ” why do we have to come to the football game like this?” And the father answered essentially that the people love the spectacle. And he is right, the people do love the spectacle, they do love the bigness, they do love the representation of confidence, power and wealth. And Trump has that down pat, thats Trump.

    What we have to worry about is if he is only a half of a patriot, no matter what degree of Republican / Conservative or Democrat he might be. We need him to be true and be a 100 percent patriot and take care of business from that point of view. If he is in it to just acquire leverage and promises from the Republican leadership than that is not going to work for us.

    So we will have to wait and see who Trump really is, because if things keep going the way that they seem to be going he may very well be “THE” choice on your 2016 presidential Republican ballot.

    The everyday people of America are PISSED OFF! They have been ignored, they have been disrespected, they have been impoverished, they have been used, they have been enslaved. And love him or loath him Trump is connecting to them.

  • Cotour

    “I think that your friend’s wife likes Trump because he is a progressive Democrat, even if he is wearing Republican clothing, right now.”

    His political philosophy has nothing to do with it, believe me. She simply has an intuitive gut impression of him as being an American leader of sorts and he probably reaches down into her DNA, her reaction was visceral.

    Political philosophy? No, no, no, you have to learn to figure into your assessment the human component and not view things in the mechanical and logical way of an engineer. That is not how human beings operate.

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