There were two stories that emerged from last night’s Republican debate:
1. The matchup between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, arguing over immigration policy and foreign policy (Cruz: no amnesty, build a wall, bomb ISIS while somehow not harming innocents. Rubio: eventual legalization of illegal immigrants, strengthen borders, work with Arab partners to defeat ISIS, more troops).
Los Cubanos no estan amigos. There’s my Spanish from a year’s worth of living in Colombia — it’s the best I’ve got.
2. The bizarre bickering between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, the latter of whom probably bested Bush. Jeb has been endlessly unable to shine at these debates, and despite a nice alliterative labeling of Donald as “the chaos candidate,” I wouldn’t be surprised if Bush gets out of the race sooner rather than later.
Other predictions: Ben Carson is the next major candidate to drop out, Chris Christie sees a bump in his numbers, and Rand Paul gathers the six audience members who cheered everything he said and forms a traveling Rand Band.
Unlike previous debates, there wasn’t any clear winner. I sat through the whole two and half hours, texted with friends, kept an eye on Twitter, and went to bed thinking that support numbers and polls for the Republican field of candidates would remain unchanged.
I woke up to political chatter about Ted Cruz winning.
Ted Cruz. Or as I like to call him, Teddy Croo-oo-oos.
Now in case you don’t know him, Ted Cruz is a senator from Texas, and is regarded as the ringleader of 2013’s government shutdown. He enjoys taking to the Senate floor and filibustering, and he’s made a lot of enemies in the Republican party by being loud and fiery in his criticism of them.
There’s no question that Ted Cruz is smart. He’s a former Supreme Court clerk, and knows well how to manipulate rhetoric and frame a narrative. Last year’s New Yorker piece on him is a fascinating expose of an ambitious young man with a lot of brainpower, and whole lot of ego (this is a guy with a mural of himself hanging in his office, so…you know).
You can’t hold the ego too much against him. Anybody on that debate stage (on the Democratic stage too) thinks they would be the best Leader of the Free World. By definition, that requires an outsized ego, so you will be choosing between and amongst true-blue narcissists (Donald Trump) and those with narcissistic tendencies.
But for the life of me, I cannot understand how voters would choose this guy.
Because watching Ted Cruz is like watching a walking, talking caricature of…Ted Cruz.
Take his closing statement: "Judgment. Strength. Clarity. Trust. Barack Obama has said he doesn’t believe in American leadership or America winning — he is wrong. America can win and we will win again."
It’s like Team America and Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother had a lovechild. Don’t believe me?
“Judgment. Strength. Clarity. Trust.” Think about it.
And I’m beginning to wonder how smart you can be, if your best idea for a closing statement is to ape…Donald Trump.
DT’s refrain is “We don’t win anymore.” The man talks endlessly about us and them, the winners vs. the haters and losers.
So what does Teddy Croo-oo-oos do? He says Barack Obama “doesn’t believe in… America winning” and that America “can win” and “will win” again.
But hey, Republican primary voters seem to love this version of Ted Cruz.
Personally? My favorite Teddy Croo-oo-oos moment was watching his facial expression upon realizing Donald Trump was not going to go after him.
Oh Teddy Croo-oo-oos. If you want to be the nominee, that DT fight is coming.
I doubt I’m the only one looking forward to it.