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Whither Ted?

he has to go back to the Senate, where nearly everybody hates him.

Not Ted Cruz

Not Ted Cruz

With his concession speech behind him and his multimillion-dollar presidential campaign already winding down, Ted Cruz will soon return to the U.S. Capitol and the job he was working so hard to transcend: rank-and-file senator.

It will likely be a striking re-entry. At times in recent months, Cruz appeared on track to land the nomination. But soon his campaign apparatus will fade away, as will the buses and traveling press corps. And come next week, he will be back to being just one of one hundred.

And when he returns to the Senate with two and a half years left in his freshman term, he will enter hostile territory. There is no way around it: The actions he took over the course of his presidential campaign only further frayed Cruz’s strained relationships with colleagues.


Upon his return, Texas’ junior senator could continue his role as the upper chamber’s bomb thrower, or he could adjust his approach to work better with the leadership. It’s a decision that may weigh on Cruz over the next few days: The Senate is currently on a home-state work period and won’t get back to work until next week.

So, how does he serve effectively?

It’s kind of a ridiculous question to ask, because Ted Cruz was never about “serving effectively” in any meaningful sense. He was about serving his own ambitions – I don’t agree much with John Cornyn, but he was absolutely right to say that Cruz came to the Senate to run for President – and I doubt this setback will change who and what he is. I do believe he’s smart enough to recognize that his strategy didn’t work, but I’m not sure that he’s self-aware enough to conclude that the problem was anything other than voters being duped by Donald Trump, in which case there’s not much he has to do to change to try again. He may change his tactics, but I seriously doubt any of that involves trying to pass legislation or any other mundane Senator-like activity, especially when there are still targets for his ego and rage to focus on. I’m sure the prospect of being President Clinton’s chief pain-in-the-ass appeals to him, but the key word there is “chief”, which says to me he’ll gladly continue to step on his colleagues in his quest to be the biggest and baddest antagonist of them all. That may offer some rich opportunities for drama, given how deeply humiliating the last few days of his campaign were, and how much his colleagues hate him. He’s still a strong favorite to win re-election in 2018 if he runs, and if he does want to run for President it would probably be easier from a fundraising standpoint if he remained in office, but I could see him deciding to bail out and take the much-higher-paying route of professional pundit/author/speaker. Lord knows, the non-politicians have done pretty well in Republican nomination contests recently, and it’s been great for their brands as well. The one thing I’m sure of is that Ted Cruz will do what he thinks is best for Ted Cruz. He’s always done it before, and there’s no reason to think he won’t keep on doing it. Trail Blazers and BOR have more.

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  1. I’ve said similar myself; I can see him bailing on the Senate in 2018. Ugh. Three hours of non-educational Ted Radio.

  2. […] the Kuff ponders career options for Ted […]

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    One thing is certain. The taxpayers sure have not gotten their money’s worth out of Ted’s senator salary so far.

  4. […] the Kuff ponders career options for Ted […]

  5. […] all he has to worry about, unfortunately. Perhaps the time wasn’t right for him to jump on the wingnut gravy train just yet. The main thing to say here is aimed at all of the pundits and Texas-based newspaper […]