Unloved, unattractive, a Simpsons-quoting nerd still chasing the teenage dream of world domination, the Texas senator has outworked, out-organized and outlasted the candidates who were supposed to beat him, from the blueblood to the jock.
His cynicism can be repellent, his message discipline exhausting, and his Reagan-vintage policy proposals induce a mild despair. But in the drama of this insane campaign, he has actually earned his position, and if his doggedness wins the Republican nomination on the second ballot it will be one of the most fascinating triumphs in recent political history.
Though it will also probably be short-lived. But if you think a little thing like losing a general election will dispose of Ted Cruz’s ambitions, you don’t know Ted Cruz.
Ross Douthat, “Who Is Ted Cruz?”, The New York Times (27 March 2016), SR11.