Perhaps the most biting criticism of then-Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign was his lack of executive and managerial experience. Nevertheless, he easily won that election and subsequently went on to win re-election four years later. Questions about his resume and past friendships were largely brushed aside, in part, because of the enthusiasm and support his candidacy generated. And yet, given the many failures of the current administration, real and perceived, party elders are already issuing dire warnings to Republican voters heading into 2016: Let’s not make the same mistake Democrats did in 2008.
Speaking of which, Cruz appeared in-studio on The Kelly File Tuesday night to defend his decision to run for president as a one-term Senator. Addressing the flurry of attacks directed at him personally and professionally, he had a couple of good one-liners, including this one:
“There’s nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media.”
Cruz assured his audience that there were “marked differences” between himself and the president of the United States. He explained that while President Obama was a “backbencher” during his years in the upper chamber, he himself had been a vocal and active participant "in the arena." He had stopped bad legislation from becoming law and passed good legislation—sometimes with almost universal support. He also reminded Kelly that he had previously served as the Solicitor General of Texas for nearly six years before running for the office he currently holds. He did not mention explicitly, however, the treasure-trove of awards he received or the impact he had as Texas' top lawyer.
Interestingly, Kevin Williamson points out that the exact same things critics are saying about him today are the exact same things they said about Ronald Reagan before the 1980 campaign. Bear that in mind. Cruz, meanwhile, is articulate and deeply accomplished—and apparently raised over $1 million in less than 24 hours after announcing his bid. And while the GOP field will indeed be crowded in 2016, few candidates can electrify and rouse the conservative base like Ted Cruz.
This is an asset, my friends—not a liability—as the last two Republican presidential nominees, unfortunately, know all too well.