Cruz is the pinup for pessimistic times.
Even John McCain, who once dismissed him and Rand Paul as “wacko birds,” said last week that Cruz has what it takes to manage the mess of the Middle East. He hastened to add that he would feel obliged to work with, and support, any Republican who is elected president, and “to put aside my anger.”
That’s the way Republican leaders fall for Cruz — with apologies, asterisks, angst. The terms of endearment are teary ones, because this isn’t the relationship they wanted. It’s the only relationship that’s left.
Frank Bruni, “Lose With Cruz: A Love Story”, The New York Times (27 March 2016), SR3.