On Wednsday, supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) floated the idea of the conservative Cuban-American freshman lawmaker running for president in 2016. Most commentators weren't terribly impressed with Cruz's chances, and it's pretty safe to say that the 2016 presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Party weren't shaking with fear.
But political scientist Jonathan Bernstein was more bullish on Cruz. "Yes, Ted Cruz could win the presidency," he says on his Plain Blog About Politics. Cruz seems to be "more or less within the ideological mainstream of his party," and probably closer to the activist base on issues like immigration reform (he's opposed) than his 2016 GOP rivals. In the general election, "Cruz is likely to be perceived as an ideological outlier, but that's a penalty, not a disqualification — it didn't, for example, prevent Ronald Reagan from winning." The bottom line is that Cruz could win the GOP nod, "and pretty much anyone who could win a major party nomination has a reasonable chance of winning the presidency."
Jon Stewart at The Daily Show has a less-nuanced take: Cruz is hated by colleagues in both parties, and he was born in Canada. Would the birthers really let a "dirty syrup-guzzler" become president? (Watch above.)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why insects are the future of food
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- The slippery slope of Twitter's attempts to stop harassment against women
Subscribe to the Week