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Freshman senator Ted Cruz is considering a presidential run, according to his friends and confidants.
Cruz won’t talk about it publicly, and even privately he’s cagey about revealing too much of his thought process or intentions. But his interest is undeniable.
“If you don’t think this is real, then you’re not paying attention,” says a Republican insider. “Cruz already has grassroots on his side, and in this climate, that’s all he may need.”
“There’s not a lot of hesitation there,” adds a Cruz donor who has known the Texan for decades. “He’s fearless.”
Cruz is a perfect candidate for the right: He's as crazy as Michele Bachmann, but instead of degrees from Winona State University and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, he's got degrees from Princeton and Harvard. He's managed to fuse the religious fundamentalism of Rick Santorum with the economic libertarianism of Rand Paul. And his last name is Cruz, so Reince Priebus thinks he's got huge crossover appeal to Latinos.
I'm rooting for him to run in a big way. Cruz could never win a general election, but the delusional right won't realize that fact until it's too late. (Remember, even after the polls closed and states were called, these guys thought Mitt Romney was going to win.)
But even though Cruz would be another Goldwater, he presses every conservative button, so it would be a mistake to discount his capacity to win the nomination. And even though he talks a good game about standing up to "the establishment," the establishment seems to be warming up to him: The New York State Republican Party just invited him to be their headline speaker at their annual dinner later this month even though he voted against Hurricane Sandy relief aid as one of his first acts in the Senate.
Cruz's real liability won't show up until the general election: He's just too extreme for the country. But in a GOP primary without an experienced establishment favorite like Mitt Romney, that's an asset.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed May 01, 2013 at 07:10 AM PDT.