February 8, 2016

HE EXISTS SO WE CAN BRING BACK THE TERM LICKSPITTLE:

The Unctuous Genius of Ted Cruz : How the candidate turned naked careerism into a winning campaign strategy. (Franklin Foer, 2/08/16, Slate)

The essence of Ted Cruz can be found in his tennis game. To put it mildly, he isn't a natural, except at firing shots into the fence surrounding the court. He came to the sport late in life--and only then with a very specific goal in mind. As he prepared to clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he studied the ways he could get on his boss' good side. He understood that he would only get close to the chief if he shared his passion for tennis. So in the months before his clerkship, Cruz paid for lessons that he hoped would make him a passable doubles partner, a perpetual necessity for Rehnquist. By all accounts, you would rather have Cruz on the opposite side of the court, a fact that quickly dawned on Rehnquist. "Ted," he would scold, " you do know the point of the game is to win, don't you?"

We have a name for this sort of behavior--it's called careerism. And it's the reason that so many people in Washington despise Ted Cruz. He is always angling for the next thing, methodically seeking out patrons and nakedly pandering to them.

Ted Cruz's careerism was so heavy-handed that it often failed. His campaign to win a top job in the George W. Bush administration notoriously backfired, despite his constantly volunteering to prep the candidate for debates and his ferocious service to the Florida recount legal brigade. Instead of a job, he earned mockery. Bush liked to call him "Theodore," not his proper name and a moniker that Cruz despised. According to Politico, Bush has told donors, "I just don't like the guy."

Posted by at February 8, 2016 6:51 PM

  

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