Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas has set chins awagging by his hiring new people on his political staff, according to a Thursday story in Politico. This is seen as a sure sign that Cruz really is a young man in a hurry and means to run for president in 2016. The CBS New affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth suggests that the one man who may stand in the way of Cruz’s aspiration is soon to be former Governor of Texas Rick Perry.
To be sure media pundits are salivating at the idea of the Republican primaries in 2016 turning into a Texas free for all. Campaign donors are not quite as enthused about the prospect. Cruz and Perry tend to attract the same sort of conservative supporters who may not be keen on being forced to choose one or the other. But both men bring unique strengths and weaknesses to the contest. A debate between the two would be illuminating, to say the least.
Cruz is a down the line tea party favorite, buttressed with rhetorical eloquence and an Ivy League educated first rate intellect. His main appeal is that he does not waffle, something that others believe is his main deficit. The same man who takes stands on immigration and Obamacare and sticks to them has also been blamed for last year’s government shutdown and has angered fellow Republicans for his disdain for compromise.
Perry, on the other hand, brings executive experience and a successful Texas economy to the fight. He would be the candidate who will get Americans back to work and would secure the borders. Not even the recent indictment, which even many on the left believe to be political, has slowed him down. On the other hand Perry has to overcome memories of his dysfunctional performance in 2012 if he expects to prosper in 2016.