Not all first-term Senators with presidential ambitions are the same.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first “official” contender to announce he is running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
One of the more bizarre narratives to quickly form after Cruz made his announcement, has been the comparison between him and President Barack Obama. While there are some similarities — both first term Senators, both graduates of Harvard, both are prone to more grandiose type speeches and both lacked executive experience, that’s where the comparison really ends.
However, there are some who arguing Ted Cruz being a first term Senator leads to him being a bad President, were he to win the nomination and ultimately the election in 2016.
This accusation is not just being thrown around by random people on social media. It’s appearing in Commentary Magazine. After listing a handful of points of comparison between Cruz and Obama the post concludes:
In short, Ted Cruz is not, except for his highly distinguished academic career and legal clerkships, dissimilar to the present incumbent of the White House. It seems to me that the last thing this country needs come January 20th, 2017, is a right-wing Barack Obama.
Charles Krauthammer made a similar point on Fox News during Special Report saying, “We already tried a first term Senator.”
The implication is they obviously think Barack Obama has been a bad President and as such, Ted Cruz would be a bad President because they were both first term Senators.
I’m not sure how that becomes a pre-cursor to failure or success. Obama’s record stands on its own. It really doesn’t have much to do with the fact that he went to Harvard. Nor would that prevent Ted Cruz from being a good President.
History will still has to judge Barack Obama’s place among all Presidents, but despite his lack of experience, Obama has three major wins in his Presidency, two of which have largely been ignored during these Cruz/Obama comparisons. All three highlight the stark differences between the two men.
The first of course is Obamacare aka The Affordable Care Act. There is not shortage of studies and analysis that have shown this law to be nothing but a disaster. While the President and Democrats were selling the bill as providing “affordable” healthcare coverage they have been reduced to making it about “insurance” with the affordable aspect falling completely apart.
Second (and Third), Obama appointed Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Kagan is 54 years old. Sotomayor is 60. The two of them are going to be issuing rulings long after the 2016 Presidential winner is out of office. Add to that the district and appellate court judges Obama has appointed and his legacy lives on for some time.
There are many other examples of Barack Obama using rhetoric and not his vast experience to push the country to the left.
The question is: Why would it be so terrible for Ted Cruz to do the same thing, but in doing so, push the country back to the right?
If you’re a conservative, wouldn’t you feel comfortable with the judicial nominations of a President Cruz?
No candidate should be above criticism and that includes Ted Cruz. If you don’t like him, then make a valid case. Merely throwing out a few inconsequential similarities between the two men and proclaiming “He’s a conservative version of Obama!” is just silly.