At Taking Points Memo, Brian Beutler writes, “Meet Democrats’ Newest Republican Crush: Ted Cruz?!?!” At the Dallas Morning News, Wayne Slater writes that Obama’s trip to Texas today is to “make Ted Cruz-Republicans the face of Washington opposition.” Both, I’d guess, are accurate.
From Beutler, at TPM:
(Democrats) distaste for his (Cruz) antics and his radical ideology is undoubtedly genuine. But Democrats are also thrilled that someone … as emerged after the rout in 2012 as a Republican powerbroker in his own right, in a party whose leadership is too weak and timid to control him. And, the greater his stature in the party, the more harm they believe he’ll do to the GOP nationwide, whether or not he runs for president in 2016.
‘I think the buzz around Sen. Cruz, both on the Senate floor and over the airwaves, represents a sincere effort on the part of Democrats to highlight the true, new face of the GOP – or at least its conservative wing (which is pretty much the whole bird these days),’ Democratic strategist Paul Begala told TPM by email.
From Slater, at the Dallas Morning News:
Texas might seem an odd place for Obama to talk jobs and the economy, given Gov. Rick Perry’s habit of claiming that he and Republicans are responsible for the state’s economic success.
But as I wrote today, Perry is less a target than an afterthought. And the GOP prescription for boosting the economy — low taxes, less regulation, getting government out of the way – isn’t what the president is coming to talk about. The real target is a Republican Congress that has opposed Obama on everything from background checks and immigration to taxes, education, spending and the budget. Nobody’s a more visible face of the opposition than Sen. Ted Cruz, tea party star and potential presidential candidate.
By coming to Texas, the president wants to frame the two poles of our broken policy debate this way: Obama’s White House (compromise) vs. Cruz-type Republicans (obstruction).
Of course, Cruz and company will put a very different spin on this.
Mostly, it looks like 2014 is just around the corner, and 2016 is screaming for, and getting, attention.
(Sen. Ted Cruz (TX-R) via Ted Cruz FB)