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Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Ted Cruz is not the GOP nominee for the presidential election. What does he do? This breaks into two, interlinked, questions: what does he do between the convention and November, and what does he do after the election?
If Trump is the GOP nominee, then Cruz could:
- Actively support him in the general (and there is that pledge to think about)
- Actively oppose him in the general (at the limit, running a third-party campaign — but I don’t see it)
- Seek to avoid doing either thing, for example concentrating on supporting down-ballot candidates (“I’m not here to talk about Donald, I’m here to talk about my good friend Homer, who will be the best darn dog-catcher Springfield has ever seen!”)
(If Trump is not the GOP nominee, then presumably the first option would be favored.)
Whether Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Ryan, Mattis, Boehner, or Kasich is President, Sen. Cruz will presumably continue his course as a principled constitutional conservative dedicated to the transparent administration of government with a view to keeping his promises to his constituents.
Or will he?
Having been the last best hope of the bitter-ender #NeverTrumpers, including the establishment groupuscule of that faction, Cruz may feel he has some favors in the bank he can use. But for what? A congressional leadership position? Perhaps. A seat on the Supreme Court? Doesn’t seem nearly ambitious enough. A place as the anointed next-in-line come 2020/2024? Four and eight years is a long time. A talk-show? While traditional, this doesn’t seem to play to his (evident) organizational strengths. A real kingmaker, in the way Palin never became? Seems hard to arrange in such a fluid political climate; and to what further end?
What should Ted do? And how does he get to do it?Published in