Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has done some pretty impressive things throughout the campaign. His candidacy was considered pretty much impossible after shutting down the government in 2013. When the GOP took over the Senate in 2014, it appeared that the Republican Establishment and mainstream media had been proven wrong, so Cruz’s name was back in the race. Then, he rightly announced first, knowing he needed time to build up steam, ratchet up fundraising, and start early on his ground game.
These things have combined for his campaign being called the overall best by US News and World Report:
— David Catanese (@davecatanese) December 31, 2015
With all of these accomplishments, the most impressive thing he’s done happened recently and isn’t getting much coverage. No, it wasn’t the $20 million fourth quarter of 2015, though that is pretty impressive. The thing that has impressed me the most is that he’s been strategically preparing his campaign and his supporters for the attacks that are coming from every side over the next two months.
It’s subtle. It isn’t the type of action that most would consider to be important. Some would say that it’s a standard move, that anyone can see attacks coming when a candidate starts to make big moves in the polls, but the reality is that they never handle it properly. Hillary Clinton had an insurmountable lead when the attacks came in 2007 and she didn’t prepare her people. A slew of GOP candidates knew the attacks were coming when they hit the spotlight for short bursts in 2011 and none of them survived. Ben Carson was all but destroyed by them this year.
We tried to do our part in warning his supporters with articles calling for preparations against the left as well as against the Republican Establishment in late November. Then, we bolstered these calls for preparedness by exposing the left as well as the Republican Establishment in December. We did this because we expected the Cruz campaign, just like nearly all others before his, to avoid the topic and hope to weather the storm with positive thoughts and big money advertisements.
We didn’t give his staff enough credit. They have been prepared. They saw it coming. They chose wisely. They’re preparing their supporters.
Why This is Important
The way that a Presidential candidate handles their campaign can give us insight into how they would handle their administration. This is why it’s important to note. The rarity of a self-aware campaign hasn’t been seen since the masterful maneuvers initiated by a campaign in a very similar situation – the 1979/80 campaign of Ronald Reagan. They expected attacks because they knew that Reagan was hated by the Neocons almost as much as he was hated by the Democrats. They feared what he could do as President. His accomplishments would represent a threat to their control of the way the party ran during these formative stages of the modern day Republican Establishment.
We’ll do an analysis in the future about how the Republican Establishment lost the battle but extended their life by inserting George H.W. Bush into the administration and eventually into the White House, but for now I want to focus on the parallels with Cruz. Reagan was able to outmaneuver the Establishment nearly every step of the way in a manner that is reflected by the Cruz campaign today. Both had multiple fronts from which to fend off attacks. Both had challenges with breaking unfair raps such as “Reagan/Cruz is too conservative to win in the general election” or “Reagan/Cruz is hated by his own party” or “Reagan/Cruz principles won’t work as Commander-in-Chief.”
We heard these complaints about Reagan. We’re hearing the same complaints about Cruz. We saw Reagan take the savvy he demonstrated during the campaign and apply it to his Presidency. We hope to see the same thing happen with Cruz.
Ted Cruz isn’t supposed to be this savvy. We all know he’s brilliant; even his biggest detractors won’t deny his intelligence and have even tried to us it against him. We simply didn’t expect him to be so seasoned as a candidate. After all, it took Reagan three tries to learn the lessons that Cruz seems to already know today.
All of this brings us to a single conclusion: just as 1980 was the time when Ronald Reagan was chosen to emerge and bring the country back from the brink, so too is now the time when Ted Cruz must be chosen to do the same. The stakes are higher today, which is why a little support isn’t good enough. He needs every conservative’s support as well as the support of those moderates who recognize that Cruz is the best chance the country has at success. This election is the moment when values and cunning must align and unite behind the right person. Today, Ted Cruz is the person who was made for this very moment.
The road for Cruz is not going to be easy. The left has been attacking him all along. The Republican Establishment will be throwing everything they can at him in the coming weeks. This is a test for Cruz, but more importantly it’s a test for the Republican party to see if voters will be able to discern the truth about Cruz from the lies that are going to come at him from every possible angle.