Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz may be the darling of the tea party and the bane of Washington’s mainstream political establishment, but he’s beginning to draw fire from some Texas Republicans who worry that he’s more interested in fueling his 2016 presidential ambitions than in tending to Lone Star State business in Washington.
“He’s our Cruz-missile,” a major Texas GOP fundraiser told National Journal. “The wingers love him, and establishment Republicans tolerate him because they’re scared of him. But he’s not taking care of business at home, and he’s already the most hated Texan in Washington.”
Cruz associates pass such brickbats off as sour grapes from a Texas GOP establishment that Cruz embarrassed by demolishing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the party favorite, in last year’s primary.
“He’s the toast of conservative gatherings everywhere he goes,” one Cruz ally said. “He really knocks ‘em dead.”
Cruz’s press secretary, Catherine Frazier, noted that since being sworn in last January her boss “has done well over 60 public events in nearly 20 cities across Texas.”
“Senator Cruz’s top priority is serving Texas in the Senate and standing up for the principles that Texans elected him to defend,” Frazier said.
There’s no doubting Cruz’s star power. He’s one of the most sought-after speakers on the national Republican circuit, drawing standing ovations with his attacks on Obama administration policies while excoriating what some call President Obama’s leadership failures.
But the same bombastic style that whips up party faithful and has catapulted him into the 2016 presidential conversation has also alienated some Republican senators who don’t enjoy being lectured to by a colleague with even less senatorial experience than Obama had when he ran for President.
Many Texas Republicans are frankly scared of him. Sen. John Cornyn, who has impeccable conservative credentials, is widely described as fearful of being perceived as to the left of Cruz. When Cruz decided to vote against Sen. John Kerry for secretary of State, Cornyn followed suit. Only one other senator joined them.
“It’s fine that he’s in demand around the country,” one top Texas Republican said. “But he spends relatively little time in Texas. Most Texas businessmen are conservative, but they’re not extreme right and they don’t know him. That’s problematic; it’s time for a little outreach back home.”
Another Cruz skeptic adds: “The problem with Cruz is, he’s angry. He needs to figure out a way to soften his image.”
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."