CRUZ

Filling in the Blanks

Cruz profiled in <em>GQ</em>, prepping for consequential budget fight amidst GOP sniping.

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Sept. 23, 2013, 7:25 a.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the sub­ject of a GQ pro­file. High­lights:

— “As a law stu­dent at Har­vard, he re­fused to study with any­one who hadn’t been an un­der­grad at Har­vard, Prin­ceton, or Yale. Says Da­mon Wat­son, one of Cruz’s law-school room­mates: ‘He said he didn’t want any­body from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.’”

— “Cruz blew his first big shot in polit­ics. Back in 2000, he had scored a plum as­sign­ment work­ing in the policy shop of George W. Bush’s Aus­tin-based pres­id­en­tial cam­paign. He dis­tin­guished him­self in the weeks after the elec­tion, serving on the leg­al team that helped Bush win the Flor­ida re­count … But Cruz’s per­son­al style earned him many de­tract­ors in Bush­World. … When it came time to divvy up the spoils of vic­tory, many of Cruz’s cam­paign col­leagues headed to the White House; Cruz went to Wash­ing­ton, too — but he was ex­iled to the out­er Siber­ia of the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion. Says one friend: ‘He was pretty crushed.’”

Na­tion­al Re­view writer Ramesh Pon­nuru dis­tills Cruz’s ap­peal — and how he’s matched to the mo­ment: “The two things that con­ser­vat­ives are tired of are politi­cians who sell out and politi­cians who em­bar­rass them by not be­ing able to make an ac­count of them­selves.” Cruz is the an­ti­thes­is of both types. Cruz: “I don’t know a con­ser­vat­ive who didn’t feel em­bar­rassed vot­ing in 2006 or 2008. I think the Re­pub­lic­an Party lost its way. We didn’t stand for the prin­ciples we’re sup­posed to be­lieve in.” (GQ)

OBAMA­CARE: Cruz ap­peared on Fox News’s “Fox News Sunday,” where he out­lined his evolving strategy to de­fund Obama­care via the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion to fund the gov­ern­ment, which now in­cludes block­ing con­sid­er­a­tion for the House bill he pushed for if it looks like Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id (D) will be able to strip out the pro­vi­sions that de­fund Obama­care. FNS host Chris Wal­lace said on the pro­gram that he had Re­pub­lic­ans send­ing him “un­so­li­cited re­search and ques­tions” on Cruz, a sign of in­tra-party an­ger at his bar­gain­ing po­s­i­tion. (Fox News)

Wash­ing­ton Post‘s Chris Cil­lizza and Sean Sul­li­van la­bel this “the most im­port­ant week” of Cruz’s ca­reer: “Cruz has shown a re­mark­able ad­ept­ness at play­ing the out­side game, burn­ish­ing his cre­den­tials as someone who doesn’t know or care about the ways of Wash­ing­ton be­cause those ways are broken and don’t serve the pub­lic. But, this is a week in which Cruz will need to show some level of dex­ter­ity at the in­side game as well. … While your own party es­tab­lish­ment prob­ably can’t keep you from a pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion, they can make it a heck of a lot harder to win one. … [The] key to meas­ur­ing Cruz’s suc­cess will be what ap­proach he takes to mak­ing his op­pos­i­tion to Obama­care known and what (if any) im­pact it has. Does Cruz launch a tra­di­tion­al talk­ing fili­buster, a doomed but prin­cipled ef­fort to show how strongly he op­poses the meas­ure? If he doesn’t, is he able to con­vince/ca­jole a hand­ful of waver­ing Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors to vote against clo­ture? Can Cruz make enough of a stand in the Sen­ate to stiffen the spines of House Re­pub­lic­ans — as­sum­ing the le­gis­la­tion, sans de­fund­ing Obama­care, is headed their way some time in the next week?” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

“After be­ing chal­lenged by House Re­pub­lic­ans, Cruz and his al­lies might have no choice oth­er than to wage some sort of fili­buster — per­haps not by tra­di­tion­al means but us­ing pro­ced­ur­al tricks. … The con­ser­vat­ive ef­fort to tie the fund­ing of the pres­id­ent’s health-care law to wheth­er or not the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment stays open on Oct. 1 could VERY WELL blow up in the GOP’s face. But even if that hap­pens, some non-DC con­ser­vat­ives are already try­ing to make Ted Cruz a mar­tyr.” (NBC News)
— Scott Bland

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