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article imageOp-Ed: Ted Cruz is 1st official 2016 prez candidate, but will fade fast

By Calvin Wolf     Mar 22, 2015 in Politics
Lynchburg - U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the first official presidential candidate of 2016, with sources confirming that he will announce his candidacy on Monday, March 23. While Cruz will quickly falter, he does have a chance to guide the political conversation.
While many likely 2016 presidential candidates are circling the waters, mainly of the Republican persuasion, libertarian U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will be the first to officially announce his candidacy. CNN reports that Cruz, 44, will make his announcement on Monday, March 23, at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. As the junior senator from Texas, Cruz has only been on the national stage for two years, but has made a name for himself with his outspokenness and extreme views.
Cruz' announcement may be unexpected, considering that other first-term senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are also considering presidential bids and are usually deemed more viable candidates. Though Cruz is likely to quickly falter on the campaign trail, sunk by his far-right political beliefs and lack of experience, his first-out-of-the-box announcement means he has a unique chance to shape the national conversation. Shaping the conversation may be his goal, since even he should acknowledge that his victory is most unlikely.
If Cruz fares well in opening weeks, it will likely shift the pack of Republican presidential contenders to the political right, encouraging them to be more conservative like Cruz. If Cruz fares poorly, it would do the opposite and encourage the other Republicans to tack toward the political center. He is the political canary in the coal mine. Is he doing it for fun, for the publicity, or to earn political favors from the establishment?
Another question, given Cruz' likeliness to be ultimately unsuccessful, is whether he will blow up or fade away. Will he exit his campaign at the first sign of falter, or slog onward until the bitter end? The answer could reveal whether Cruz will run again in the future, when he has a better chance of success. If Cruz bows out quickly and gracefully, or at least as gracefully as can be, he has a better shot at running again in 2020 or 2024. If Cruz drags it out and reaps lots of bad press, it may erode his chances at running for president again.
A brief, painless candidacy that only exhibits Cruz' positive attributes may be intended to make him a possible GOP vice presidential nominee. If it seems that the Republican electorate wants more conservatism, the GOP nominee may reach out and call for Cruz to be his or her running mate. All in all, it's not bad to be first out of the gate!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Ted Cruz, 2016 presidential election, Presidential bid 2016, Republicans, Republican party
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