ANY of the current GOP candidates will be an excellent replacement for Barack Obama. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, I will be a blur of black SUV as I race to cast my vote for the Republican nominee. However, that day is still 11 months away, and the Republican National Convention is scheduled for July 18-21, so that gives me about eight months to peruse the field.
The first primary, New Hampshire, will be on February 9, and the outcome of that will seal the fate of some of the contenders, which will narrow the field. If the current trends continue, Trump, Rubio, Cruz and Carson will probably be among those that will stay around for awhile. Polls vary, of course, but of late, Senator Cruz appears to be surging in Iowa. This has been the media buzz, and has garnered more attention for Cruz this last week. The Iowa Caucus is the first test for a Presidential candidate. It precedes the New Hampshire primary, but unlike a primary, it is not a secret ballot election. A caucus is more like a gathering of members of a political party who meet and debate the merits of the candidates, and select the one they will support, usually by a show of hands. Only thirteen states use the caucus system.
It is said that no candidate has won the nomination without finishing in at least third place in the Iowa caucus, hence the importance. Romney came in second in the Iowa caucus of 2012, with Rick Santorum coming in first. Obviously, winning the caucus did not give Santorum the GOP nomination, so winning is not indicative of a candidate’s ultimate outcome. Even if Ted Cruz prevails in Iowa, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s headed to the White House. That makes me feel better, because personally, I am not a fan. It isn’t that I don’t agree with a lot of what Cruz says, I do. He is very conservative, which I like, although I do not agree with his vote on the USA Freedom act.
To me, Cruz comes across as contrived. I feel like I am listening to a sermon every time he talks, and he talks too much and too long. I’ve noticed in interviews, that the host of the program usually has to spur Senator Cruz along just to get on to their next question. His answers are endless, and they are like campaign speeches. This may seem trivial, but it bothers me. I want a clear, concise answer to a question, and he bloviates.
He is a very intelligent man, and an experienced debater, which is why he has done so well in the GOP debates; they’re a comfortable venue for him. He manages to make some good points, and to come across with some good one-liners, but he still seems like he is preaching, and like his main focus is on his delivery. It’s almost like it’s a theatrical performance. I just don’t get a good vibe from him. He ranks up there with Kasich and Paul, in the group of candidates I can hardly stand to watch.
Ted Cruz relishes his reputation as a rebel of sorts. Apparently, the number of Republican Senators and Congressman that don’t like him, continues to grow. Cruz blames it on the fact that he is not a member of “their club”. They say that he backstabs for his own political gain, and that he is a grandstander. Cruz wears his unpopularity like a badge of honor, and prides himself on how much time he spends in the Senate fighting with both parties. I don’t see that Ted Cruz has really accomplished anything during his time in the Senate. He has spent most of it being divisive, and playing up to the passions of the public in an effort to be the poster child of conservatism. At the end of the day, you do have to learn to work with people. We send people to Washington to get things done, and that usually means some negotiation with the other side. Ted Cruz does not seem to be much of a negotiator, which doesn’t bode well for a presidential candidate.
Even my hero, Ronald Reagan, knew you had to work across the aisle. He made hours of phone calls on a regular basis to Senate and House members on both sides trying to pass legislation. He fought hard to get what he wanted, but he was realistic enough to know that would not be 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.
I just think when the majority of your own political party doesn’t like you, there must be something to it. I have learned over the years that things work better for me when I trust my gut instincts, and my gut instincts tell me that Cruz is not our man. In the words of President George W. Bush regarding Ted Cruz, “I just don’t like the guy”.