A month ago I predicted a Cruz-Rubio ticket. Now that Cruz has overtaken Carson to run neck-and-neck with Trump in the Iowa Quinnipiac University poll, Cruz is looking a lot like a winner. Here are my top 10 reasons to back him.
10. He really knows economics--not the ideologically-driven pablum dished out at universities, but the real battlefield of entrenched monopolies against entrepreneurial upstarts. As Aweesh Agarwal and John Delacourt reported in this space, he did a brilliant job at the Federal Trade Commission: "Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers." Anyone can propose tax cuts. It takes real know-how to cut through the regulatory kudzu that is strangling America enterprise.
9. He really knows foreign policy. He is a hardline defender of American interests, but wants to keep American politics out of the export business. That's why neo-conservatives like Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post and Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal keep sliming him. The Bushies started attacking Cruz a year ago, when he stated the obvious about the Bush administration's great adventure in "democratic globalism": "I think we stayed too long, and we got far too involved in nation-building…. We should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland." He's not beholden to the bunglers of the Bush administration, unlike the hapless Marco Rubio.
8. He really knows the political system. As Texas Solicitor General he argued nine cases before the US Supreme Court and won five of them. How many other lawyers in the United States have gone to the Supreme Court nine times on points of Constitutional law? The best write-up I've seen on brilliance as a Constitutional lawyer came from the liberal New Yorker--grudging praise, but praise nevertheless. Some of his legal work was brilliant, displaying a refined understanding of separation of powers and federalism. If you want a president who knows the mechanism of American governance from the inside, there's no-one else who comes close to Cruz.
7. He's an outsider, and America needs an outsider. The public thinks that Washington is corrupt, and it IS corrupt. The banks are corrupt, the defense industries (with their $1.5 trillion budget for a new fighter plane that won't fly) is corrupt, the tech companies (run by patent trolls rather than engineers) are corrupt, the public utilities are corrupt. The American people want a new broom. But it helps to put it in the hands of someone who knows his way around the broom closet.
6. Trump and Carson aren't serious candidates. Carson is an endearing fellow who has no business running for president: apart from his medical specialty, his knowledge of the world is an audodidact's jumble of fact and fantasy. Donald Trump inherited money and ran a family business: never in his life did he have to persuade shareholders, investors, directors, or anyone else to work with him. At best, he knew how to cajole and threaten. It's been his way or the highway since he was a kid, and that's the worst possible training for a US president.
5. Cruz is in but not of the system. The distinguished conservative scholar Robert P. George mentored him at Princeton and the flamboyant (but effective) liberal Alan Dershowitz taught him at Harvard Law School. Both agree he was the smartest student they ever had. An Ivy League education isn't important unless, of course, you don't have one: to run the United States, it helps to have dwelt in the belly of the beast. Cruz came through the elite university mill with his principles intact, and a keen understanding of the liberal mentality.
4. He's got real grit--call it fire in the belly, but Cruz wants to be president and wants us to want him to be president. Determination is a lot more important than charm, where Cruz won't win first prize. When it comes down to it, Americans don't want a charming president, but a smart, tough and decent one. Marco Rubio, the Establishment's last hope after Jeb Bush's belly-flop, is instantly recognizeable as the tough-guy hero's cute younger brother. Either Cruz or Fiorina would fill out the ticket.
3. He knows how to run a real campaign as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan media event. Cruz has boots on the ground, an organization of people who believe in him and raise money at twice the rate of Rubio--with an averge $66 donation.
2. He's a true believer in the United States of America. His love for his country and belief in its prospects are impassioned and unfeigned. He's ambitious, but his ambition stems from a desire to serve, where he believes that he is uniquely qualified to serve.
And the top reason to vote for Ted Cruz is:
He can beat Hillary Clinton. Not just beat her, but beat her by a landslide. Mrs. Clinton isn't that smart. She looks sort of smart smart when the media toss her softballs, but in a series of one-to-one, nowhere-to-hide Presidential debates, Cruz would shred her. Cruz was the top college debater in the country. He knows how to assemble facts, stay on message, anticipate his opponent's moves and neutralize them. He's a quarter-century younger than Mrs. Clinton, smarter, sharper, and better prepared. He's also clean as a whistle in personal life and finances, while the Clintons could reasonably be understood to constitute a criminal enterprise.