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October 28, 2013



Frankly, he lacks charisma. He can rally a segment of the far-right base just by being a fire-eater, but he doesn't inspire confidence. Whatever that thing is you need to have--Obama, Clinton, Reagan all had it--Cruz lacks it. He's in Paul Ryan territory--he's risen as far as he's going.


Agreed. Obviously, I find almost all Republican officeholders repulsive and difficult to listen to because they're either lying or saying cruel things, or, usually, both. But some have the chops to take their mendacity mainstream, and some don't. Reagan is obviously the gold standard. The perfect smiling, charming vessel of unfathomable cruelty and stupidity.

But Cruz is just so unpleasant. He is not a good-looking or camera-friendly person, has a somewhat striking resemblance to one of his key influences, Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, has a strangely high, nasal, and very annoying voice, and always has an insufferable self-satisfied smirk on his face.

Bush the Lesser was able to overcome some of those things by having a sort of disarming "what, me worry?" vibe to him early on, and by developing his faux-Texan everyman drawl. Cruz doesn't have either of those endearing (to some) mannerisms, and just comes off as a smug know-nothing know-it-all. Which is fine for getting the base riled up, but I just don't see it having wider appeal.

Clinton, whatever else you want to say about such a complicated, flawed man, undeniably oozes charisma. Obama is a chillier fellow, but can obviously be a magnetic presence in his own way too. Cruz? Unless you're a braindead teabagging psycho, what appeal does he have? I just don't see it.

Peter G

Ted Cruz is just the man you want to sell your used car for you. Buy one from him? Not so much.


Turgidson, couldn't agree more with your assessment. I see no personal appeal beyond the most rabid of the base of the republican party and like Sarah Palin, he gets way more attention from the media than he deserves. I didn't care for W. Bush in 2000. I always saw him as a rich kid with a sense of entitlement to the job that his father once held, and apparently the supreme court agreed with him. As the years went by and the worse things got during his presidency, it became more and more difficult to watch him in action. Ted Cruz doesn't even measure up to that low standard. He's just that bad. He's Sarah Palin bad. Mitt Romney bad. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of any republican these days would come close to having the broader appeal of a Reagan or even Bush the Lesser. Rand Paul has his moments when he talks about the failed war on drugs, but that's about it. Chris Christie? I don't get that either. Just because he was willing to work with the president in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? Big deal, he's a giant right winger who hates all the same people the tea party hates. It seems as though just when you've thought the republican party has scraped the bottom of he barrel, you discover that when you lift up the barrel....


Cruz's appeal is that he is bold and aggressive. He gives the impression that he will do anything to get where he wants to go, and that he doesn't give a shit about the usual niceties. This appeals to the people who believe what he's preaching. The Birchers, the Dominionists, the various extreme tea-drinkers.
So that Cruz's appeal to the people he appeals to. Fortunately there are not many of them, but they make a lot of noise and are very enthusiastic. In some parts of the country there are a lot more of them than in others.
For everyone else, he is a total turnoff. That's why they didn't show up in Iowa.


Teddy Cruzger still believes the shut down was "worth it". Worth what, I'm not sure. I'm still trying to figure out what republican victory was supposed to look like in the wake of the shutdown/debt crisis. Should we consider ourselves lucky that it didn't happen or still be concerned that it could happen again early next year?


I'd be happy to let them light themselves on fire again with another shutdown early next year. While I would again lament the pain it would cause to many people who don't deserve it, more pain would be caused to more people if they are allowed to retain their "majority" beyond 2014. And after the way this one played out, I'm much more confident we won't come as close to default (plus, I think the deal just reached has a one-time provision where Obama can raise the debt ceiling himself, in which case the issue is off the table for a good while).

Jim Milstein

Cruz's appeal is simple. It's sex. He's hot. Who wouldn't want to sleep with him? Sarah is cold mutton in comparison. Never mind Romney or Christie.

Or, maybe it's something else . . .

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