Ted Cruz's reputation around Washington ranges from "pestersome adult Dennis the Menace" to "world's fattest tapeworm," but the latest polls show him surpassing Trump — so we could be stuck listening to him until November (and then hopefully never again).
Ted's college roommate, Craig Mazin, just one of many in the chorus of figures from his past, told the Daily Beast, "I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book."
Personally, I'd go even further: I'd rather see a phone book elected president than Ted Cruz.
There's not a human alive who doesn't find Ted Cruz unpleasant, and that includes his own family members as evidenced by the above creepy footage of him manipulating them for TV commercials.
Republican leaders hate Cruz for his pandering: he makes promises he can't possibly fulfill, simply because it plays well on TV. He promised to defund Obamacare; he promised that the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality isn't binding; he promises to keep out Syrian refugees. He promised that global warming is a myth at a show-hearing that even most of his fellow Republicans couldn't be bothered to attend.
And yet the pandering seems to be working, at least for now. He's winning the support of evangelicals, many of whom are dismayed by Carson's idiocy and alarmed by Trump's volatility.
But of course, money is the only factor that really matters, and that's where Cruz's blood-sucking leech mouth has benefited him the most. He's purchased huge campaign machines in the states that, for completely arbitrary reasons, are the first to pick their candidates. He may not know how to make friends, but he knows how to make money — and spend it.
There's a fascinating article in the NY Times about Cruz's attempts to be likable, and the whole thing is an adventure in cringing and sociopathy. Ted clearly has no idea how to relate to human beings, and his attempts to do so read like an Isaac Asimov novella about an alien trying to blend in by emulating Larry David.
I'm ferociously jealous of the author of that article, Matt Flegenheimer, for his ability to describe Cruz with such magical passages as "As cameras click, his lower lip quivers as he smiles, as if allergic to the top, settling into a sort of smirk."
If anything, Cruz seems to give political writers an opportunity to trot out their most creative rhetorical flourishes, as when Foreign Policy magazine called him “the human equivalent of one of those flower-squirters that clowns wear on their lapels.”
Asked if he would vote for Ted Cruz, Viagra and Pepsi spokesman Bob Dole said, "I might oversleep that day."
There's a strong possibility that we could be stuck with this jerk as the GOP candidate. But oddly enough, there's a possibility that even if he gets the nomination, Donald Trump could remain a thorn in his side: because Cruz was born in Canada, Trump's raised the possibility that he might challenge Cruz's eligibility for president.
This would be a fun circus sideshow — Cruz is, alas, eligible to run (his mother was a US citizen, just like Obama's) but Trump has never let the facts get in the way of a fight. So here's hoping that after his campaign finishes imploding, Trump won't vanish from politics completely.