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Ted Cruz speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 16, 2011
Hello, 2016!
Sweet:
He’s been in Washington only three months, but U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is already planning a pilgrimage to a critical presidential primary state.

The outspoken Cruz, a conservative attorney who has sprinted headlong into the Washington media spotlight since his election last November, will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Republican Party's Silver Elephant Dinner, CNN has learned. Cruz spokesperson Catherine Frazier also confirmed his attendance at the dinner, slated for May 3 in Columbia.

I almost don't even care if he runs—just the fact that he might run is awesome on its own. As long as he's a threat to enter the race, the GOP field is going to be wearing the crazy on their shirtsleeves. It'll be 2012 all over again.

But if Cruz does run, it wouldn't just be spectacular theater—he'd be a real threat to win the nomination, and no threat at all to win the general. He's the perfect fusion of the things Republican primary voters liked most about Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain. Plus, he's got something to offer the establishment types who backed Mitt Romney: his last name. (Apparently, guys like Reince Priebus think Cruz's last name makes him appealing to Latinos. That raises the question of who Reince thinks "Priebus" appeals to, but that's another topic for another day.)

Oh, and by the way, I'm not rooting for the GOP to get any crazier. I'd love nothing more than for them to transform themselves into a sane and reasonable political party. But that's not what they are, and as long as they're going to be nuts, they shouldn't hide it from the American public. And what better way for Republicans to embrace the monster they've created than by nominating Ted Cruz to be their standard bearer?

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