Post-Convention Cruz

 

DecisionTreeLet 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?

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  1. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    I have wondered similarly.

    I think his candidacy and this election reveals more about America than it does about him. He is mostly the same guy that was elected in 2012 with bigger ambitions and a pretty good, but not perfect, track record of doing what he says he is going to do.

    The huge disparity in how states vote is revealed in the gaps between his performance in Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin versus what happened in the northeast reveals a much bigger ideological split than I previously thought.

    He could be helpful some down ballot races and I also think Boehner’s comments yesterday and how Congressional Republicans react to Trump confirms what Ted Cruz has told us all along about the Washington cronyists. He could be a much bigger more visible thorn in their sides.

    I wonder if he can come back in 4 years stronger than ever.

    • #1
  2. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    He will have the same problems 4 years from now as he has now, probably worse.  He is at best a regional candidate, with a shrinking region.

    I think the split in the country is much less favorable to Cruz than it is to Trump.  Trump won the South and the Northeast.  Check out the county breakdown.  Sure, he didn’t get outright majorities in the South (although Florida was close).  But dollars to donuts that if those Southern states voted tomorrow, Trump would carry a majority.

    Republican_Party_presidential_primaries_results_by_county,_2016.svg

    • #2
  3. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:He will have the same problems 4 years from now as he has now, probably worse. He is at best a regional candidate, with a shrinking region.

    I think the split in the country is much less favorable to Cruz than it is to Trump. Trump won the South and the Northeast. Check out the county breakdown. Sure, he didn’t get outright majorities in the South (although Florida was close). But dollars to donuts that if those Southern states voted tomorrow, Trump would carry a majority.

    Republican_Party_presidential_primaries_results_by_county,_2016.svg

    The country will also be different in 4 years. The map could potentially be worse for conservatives, but it could also be better.

    Assuming Cruz is not the nominee any of the remaining options are not limited government folks. Additionally, the mask is coming off Congress and their free spending ways. I realize Ted Cruz isn’t well liked, but the deep seated hatred coming to the surface is because he is the first viable threat to the well feathered Washington nests.

    Our financial and economic conditions are strained and will get worse with even more regulation, taxation, and debt, all of which will come to fruition in any non-Cruz administration.

    Will the country in 4 years realize government is the problem? I don’t know. I thought 8 years of Obama would do the trick and I am clearly incorrect.

    • #3
  4. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    I now hope that if Trump and Hillary are the nominees, Bernie and a good and true conservative run as independents.  I’d like to see that be Mitch Daniels or Nikki Haley, but I don’t think it should be Cruz.  First of all, he took the pledge, but also, though I like him, there are better, more likable choices.  Granted, this is not a sensible year, but on the other hand, Trump, Hillary and Bernie are all adored by a few and hated by most.  I think a sensible independent choice in the general might pull this election out for us if Bernie is there to split the Dem vote.

    • #4
  5. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    BrentB67: I realize Ted Cruz isn’t well liked, but the deep seated hatred coming to the surface is because he is the first viable threat to the well feathered Washington nests.

    Nah.  It’s because some people see through him.  I have no feathered Washington nests.  There are only two politicians I dislike more than Cruz.  One’s name starts with an “O” and the other should be indicted.

    • #5
  6. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    BrentB67: I realize Ted Cruz isn’t well liked, but the deep seated hatred coming to the surface is because he is the first viable threat to the well feathered Washington nests.

    Nah. It’s because some people see through him. I have no feathered Washington nests. There are only two politicians I dislike more than Cruz. One’s name starts with an “O” and the other should be indicted.

    I respect your emotional dislike, but there are many in Washington that see him as a threat.

    I don’t include you as a Washington bureaucrat with a donor fiefdom to maintain.

    • #6
  7. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    BrentB67: I realize Ted Cruz isn’t well liked, but the deep seated hatred coming to the surface is because he is the first viable threat to the well feathered Washington nests.

    Nah. It’s because some people see through him. I have no feathered Washington nests. There are only two politicians I dislike more than Cruz. One’s name starts with an “O” and the other should be indicted.

    When I saw the “O” I immediately thought of Oprah, then I sat back and thought again.  Oh, I thought, he means Barry.

    • #7
  8. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    In the short run, Presidential aspirations dashed, Cruz will keep his options open: running in 2020, a Supreme Court nomination, moving up in the Senate. He’ll support down-ballot R’s until the election is over. Then he’ll go all-in on being “Mr Constitution”, and proselytizing for the Constitution everywhere.

    It plays to his strengths as a lawyer, Supreme Court case winner, and “most conservative guy in the Senate.”

    There will be Supreme Court justices nominated under whoever the new President is. Cruz is on the Judiciary Committee. I expect he’ll grill them hard, maybe filibuster one. He gets to show off his prosecutor chops, his knowledge and commitment to the Constitution, and gets free media exposure. It also sets him up as a possible nominee himself if Trump pulls this thing off or another R does in 2020.

    This election revealed how few ideological conservatives there are in the “conservative” movement. Cruz will want to add to their number. Supporting candidates like Palin did will get him out & about, more time to proselytize, and goodwill from any who win. It’ll also get him more free media.

    • #8
  9. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Lazy_Millennial: This election revealed how few ideological conservatives there are in the “conservative” movement. Cruz will want to add to their number.

    I was wondering if this is where he can use his organisational skills, building some more persistent structure that he can deploy to support those who share his goals. If he can keep his data-mining team together and have them refine their methods for another few years…

    • #9
  10. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    genferei:

    Lazy_Millennial: This election revealed how few ideological conservatives there are in the “conservative” movement. Cruz will want to add to their number.

    I was wondering if this is where he can use his organisational skills, building some more persistent structure that he can deploy to support those who share his goals. If he can keep his data-mining team together and have them refine their methods for another few years…

    He’ll get the band back together in 2020, but I have trouble seeing him keeping them employed until then with oil prices this low.

    • #10
  11. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    If Trump can credibly promise the right picks for ScottUS and key Cabinet posts we can all support him.  If not we all support downstream candidates and brace for Hillary.  Is there a libertarian candidate this year?  Can we agree on a write in so the protest vote is at least explicit?

    • #11
  12. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    genferei:

    Lazy_Millennial: This election revealed how few ideological conservatives there are in the “conservative” movement. Cruz will want to add to their number.

    I was wondering if this is where he can use his organisational skills, building some more persistent structure that he can deploy to support those who share his goals. If he can keep his data-mining team together and have them refine their methods for another few years…

    The data team, et al is Robert Mercer’s. He will have a lot to say if/how that is deployed.

    I think the bigger question is the point LM brings up that what this has revealed is what many of us here have said all along. There are lots of people claiming some conservative bona fides that are really just shallow thinkers interested in emotional attachment to things like electability and fresh baked cookies.

    There are very few substantive limited gov’t conservatives and they are concentrated in Texas and Oklahoma. I am not sure how that is going to grow or how it is going to be reconciled.

    • #12
  13. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    BrentB67:I think the bigger question is the point LM brings up that what this has revealed is what many of us here have said all along. There are lots of people claiming some conservative bona fides that are really just shallow thinkers interested in emotional attachment to things like electability and fresh baked cookies.

    There are very few substantive limited gov’t conservatives and they are concentrated in Texas and Oklahoma. I am not sure how that is going to grow or how it is going to be reconciled.

    A reborn Republic looms large.

    • #13
  14. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Austin Murrey:

    BrentB67:I think the bigger question is the point LM brings up that what this has revealed is what many of us here have said all along. There are lots of people claiming some conservative bona fides that are really just shallow thinkers interested in emotional attachment to things like electability and fresh baked cookies.

    There are very few substantive limited gov’t conservatives and they are concentrated in Texas and Oklahoma. I am not sure how that is going to grow or how it is going to be reconciled.

    A reborn Republic looms large.

    I think you are correct my friend. Per usual.

    • #14
  15. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    BrentB67:

    Austin Murrey:

    BrentB67:I think the bigger question is the point LM brings up that what this has revealed is what many of us here have said all along. There are lots of people claiming some conservative bona fides that are really just shallow thinkers interested in emotional attachment to things like electability and fresh baked cookies.

    There are very few substantive limited gov’t conservatives and they are concentrated in Texas and Oklahoma. I am not sure how that is going to grow or how it is going to be reconciled.

    A reborn Republic looms large.

    I think you are correct my friend. Per usual.

    That’s what I pay my team of writers to make sure of!

    • #15
  16. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    BrentB67:I respect your emotional dislike, but there are many in Washington that see him as a threat.

    I don’t include you as a Washington bureaucrat with a donor fiefdom to maintain.

    That is probably true.  I am just saying that there are a lot of politicians out there who threaten other politicians – it’s the game they all play.  It only turns in to hate when the personal gets involved.

    • #16
  17. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    BrentB67: There are very few substantive limited gov’t conservatives and they are concentrated in Texas and Oklahoma. I am not sure how that is going to grow or how it is going to be reconciled.

    I disagree with the concentration, but agree with the general sentiment.  That said, I fundamentally believe that we don’t need to make them conservative to succeed.  We just need to make them part of the team and address their concerns. Then they will back a conservative approach (with limitations – they won’t permit the social conservative side of the deal).

    • #17
  18. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Cruz still has two years left on this term in the Senate. I expect travels the country supporting down ballot races in areas where he can help. Then he runs for reelection in 2018, which might be tricky as TX voters will know that he will probably be running in 2020*and usually voters don’t like to elect people that are just going to be running for another office.

    *If somehow Trump wins the presidency, I see Cruz running against him in the 2020 primary.

    • #18
  19. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    Z in MT:Cruz still has two years left on this term in the Senate. I expect travels the country supporting down ballot races in areas where he can help. Then he runs for reelection in 2018, which might be tricky as TX voters will know that he will probably be running in 2020*and usually voters don’t like to elect people that are just going to be running for another office.

    *If somehow Trump wins the presidency, I see Cruz running against him in the 2020 primary.

    Would Texans really mind having a Senator who’s eyeing the White House while pissing off all the right people? I think we’re ok with it, though I could be wrong. If we want a Texan in there, we’ve gotta put up with Texan Senators and Governors running.

    • #19
  20. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Z in MT:Cruz still has two years left on this term in the Senate. I expect travels the country supporting down ballot races in areas where he can help. Then he runs for reelection in 2018, which might be tricky as TX voters will know that he will probably be running in 2020*and usually voters don’t like to elect people that are just going to be running for another office.

    If/when he runs for re-election it will be interesting to see the reception he gets. He cast some unpopular votes around the time he declared and when Trump entered the race he consistently polled ahead of Cruz.

    It wasn’t until just before the primary that sentiment shifted and Cruz did so well in the primary. My guess is a lot of that had to do with folks here realizing what Trump is/was about.

    *If somehow Trump wins the presidency, I see Cruz running against him in the 2020 primary.

    If that happens Ted Cruz will have an epic list of “I told ya so’s…”

    • #20
  21. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    On another note, check out the notorious Kevin D. Williamson’s piece that includes a section on “number of permanent and semi-permanent roles in American public life.” Ctrl-F that phrase and read the next few paragraphs (though the whole piece is good).

    I expect Cruz will be the Constitutional-themed “Republican We Can’t Do Business With.”

    • #21
  22. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Z in MT:Cruz still has two years left on this term in the Senate. I expect travels the country supporting down ballot races in areas where he can help. Then he runs for reelection in 2018, which might be tricky as TX voters will know that he will probably be running in 2020*and usually voters don’t like to elect people that are just going to be running for another office.

    *If somehow Trump wins the presidency, I see Cruz running against him in the 2020 primary.

    Would Texans really mind having a Senator who’s eyeing the White House while pissing off all the right people? I think we’re ok with it, though I could be wrong. If we want a Texan in there, we’ve gotta put up with Texan Senators and Governors running.

    A lot will depend on if/who tries to primary him.

    My general sentiment is that you would need to get your head checked to step into that ring considering how stout his presidential funding is from the state and his performance against Dewhurst in 2012.

    • #22
  23. Tyler Boliver Inactive
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    If Cruz doesn’t win the nod, he will do what Reagan did and refuse to campaign for Trump. He likely will rally his forces, and Trump will try to pull an Eisenhower begs Taft to support him angel, which won’t work with Cruz.

    The real question is, if an independent conservative gets in and runs what will Cruz do? If anyone would buck the GOP’s pressure to support Trump, it will be Cruz. If Tom Cobrun runs I’d  guarantee that Cruz will endorse him over Trump.

    • #23
  24. Tyler Boliver Inactive
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    BrentB67:

    Lazy_Millennial:

    Z in MT:Cruz still has two years left on this term in the Senate. I expect travels the country supporting down ballot races in areas where he can help. Then he runs for reelection in 2018, which might be tricky as TX voters will know that he will probably be running in 2020*and usually voters don’t like to elect people that are just going to be running for another office.

    *If somehow Trump wins the presidency, I see Cruz running against him in the 2020 primary.

    Would Texans really mind having a Senator who’s eyeing the White House while pissing off all the right people? I think we’re ok with it, though I could be wrong. If we want a Texan in there, we’ve gotta put up with Texan Senators and Governors running.

    A lot will depend on if/who tries to primary him.

    My general sentiment is that you would need to get your head checked to step into that ring considering how stout his presidential funding is from the state and his performance against Dewhurst in 2012.

    I don’t think anyone can knock out Ted Cruz, but Ted Cruz. Had he had a smaller field to deal with in the primary, I have no doubt that he would have won the entire state of Texas. Just remove Marco from that race, and he likely would have done it.

    Cruz’ strength in Texas is the real thing, no doubt.

    • #24
  25. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    This is the problem with these sorts of questions though for us #NeverTrumper’s. Ted Cruz is basically are last ditch effort, we have to focus on getting Cruz the nomination by stopping Trump on the first ballot. At this point it looks like a long shot, but that is what we have to do.

    • #25
  26. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    genferei: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!”)

    Cruz should do what he did did months ago when he was one of 17 candidates. Kiss up to Trump, act like they were best friends and campaign with him and for him in the national election. It helped him get past most of the other canidates as he stepped on several of them to get ahead.  I doubt he has coat tails so campaigning for other members of Congress won’t be useful for them. And I don’t see him as a viable candidate in 4 or 8 years. His negatives are just too high and his social positions too conservative to win a national election. His best bet is to remain in the Senate and stop stepping on his colleagues. Or hope Trump wins and likes him well enough to give him a great new position like a Supreme Court nomination.

    • #26
  27. Tyler Boliver Inactive
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    Sweezle:

    Cruz should do what he did did months ago when he was one of 17 candidates. Kiss up to Trump, act like they were best friends and campaign with him and for him in the national election. It helped him get past most of the other canidates as he stepped on several of them to get ahead. I doubt he has coat tails so campaigning for other members of Congress won’t be useful for them. And I don’t see him as a viable candidate in 4 or 8 years. His negatives are just too high and his social positions too conservative to win a national election. His best bet is to remain in the Senate and stop stepping on his colleagues. Or hope Trump wins and likes him well enough to give him a great new position like a Supreme Court nomination.

    It will be a cold day in hell before Cruz does that. Trump insulted his wife. Plus you forget that Cruz is a student of the Reagan Revolution, if Cruz’s loses he will sit out the election the same way Reagan did with Ford in 76. That action set Reagan up for 1980, and will set Cruz up to run again in 2020. In the meantime he will continue to build up his base, and keep his ground support intake and ready to go.

    • #27
  28. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    BrentB67:

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    BrentB67: I realize Ted Cruz isn’t well liked, but the deep seated hatred coming to the surface is because he is the first viable threat to the well feathered Washington nests.

    Nah. It’s because some people see through him. I have no feathered Washington nests. There are only two politicians I dislike more than Cruz. One’s name starts with an “O” and the other should be indicted.

    I respect your emotional dislike, but there are many in Washington that see him as a threat.

    I don’t include you as a Washington bureaucrat with a donor fiefdom to maintain.

    Does it not seem possible that there are more options than “personal dislike” or “corruption”? You’ve falsely accused me, with no evidence and evidence to the contrary of having a financial motivation for my views.

    Those in Washington who say that they dislike Cruz often claim that it is because he defeats conservative reform and makes conservative success less likely. Is it not possible that these people’s stated motivations are genuine? It may be that Cruz is, in fact, a white knight who could pass lots of conservative reform and bring about utopia if only people could see his glory, but people who fail to see that glory may be motivated by sincere misguided beliefs rather than hostility to their country, greed, or other suggestions that they’re not thinking clearly or in good faith.

    • #28
  29. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    BrentB67:I respect your emotional dislike, but there are many in Washington that see him as a threat.

    I don’t include you as a Washington bureaucrat with a donor fiefdom to maintain.

    That is probably true. I am just saying that there are a lot of politicians out there who threaten other politicians – it’s the game they all play. It only turns in to hate when the personal gets involved.

    It can also turn to hate when genuinely treasured achievements are endangered. If we had a decent nominee this cycle, a category into which most of those running fell, we’d be easily holding the House and Senate and we’d be in a great position to have a supermajority in 2018. For the first time since the 1920s, we’d be in a position to engage in genuinely radical reforms, going beyond the need for compromise to get things passed. It wasn’t that long ago that people were talking about this being the greatest Presidential primary field in a generation, and optimism ran downticket, too. Instead, our discourse has been poisoned and Clinton with a Democratic Congress seems like the most plausible outcome.

    If you’ve spent your life working toward, say, the reduction in the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget, or the reduction of barriers to free trade, or the protection of the military from civilian legal norms, then having a leading Republican mess with your dreams can be more than a little frustrating.

    • #29
  30. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Tyler Boliver:

    Sweezle:

    Cruz should do what he did did months ago when he was one of 17 candidates. Kiss up to Trump, act like they were best friends and campaign with him and for him in the national election. It helped him get past most of the other canidates as he stepped on several of them to get ahead….

    It will be a cold day in hell before Cruz does that. Trump insulted his wife. Plus you forget that Cruz is a student of the Reagan Revolution, if Cruz’s loses he will sit out the election the same way Reagan did with Ford in 76. That action set Reagan up for 1980, and will set Cruz up to run again in 2020. In the meantime he will continue to build up his base, and keep his ground support intake and ready to go.

    Cruz flooded my state with emails depicting an almost nude photograph of Trump’s wife the day before with a very snarky “who wants this as their First Lady …..Vote for Ted Cruz” so what did Cruz expect?  The photo (taken decades ago for a British GQ) did not offend me and Cruz already had a majority in Utah so it was just a nasty political ploy. I see Cruz as more of a political opportunist than you do so I think he will try and ingratiate himself with the Republican nominee as he did early in the process.

    • #30
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