Ted Cruz seems ready to join a group of youngpols who combine tea party conservatism with scholarly style. After beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP runoff last month, Cruz is expected to easily win a general-election contest to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz draws obvious comparisons to Sen., R-Fla. Both are 41-year-old sons of Cuban immigrants who defeated better-established primary opponents. But Cruz’s career may more closely resemble that of Sen. Mike Lee, R- , also 41, who won a 2010 GOP primary after Republican Sen. Bob Bennett was ousted in a party convention. Both men clerked for Supreme Court justices—Lee for Justice Samuel Alito, Cruz for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Each worked in his home state’s Justice Department.
Conservative columnist George Will described Cruz, Lee, and Rubio as “limited-government constitutionalists” reinvigorating the Right. Some would include
his father’s mantle as a libertarian-leaning presidential candidate in 2016.
Cruz may boast the most impressive preelection résumé. His campaign says that he began winning speech contests at age 13. He attended Princeton University, where he won national awards for his work on
the debate team. At Harvard Law School, Cruz was the primary editor of the Harvard Law Review.