The Washington Post profiles Texas Senator Ted Cruz today, and perhaps my guest host, AEI’s Arthur Brooks, will get to the story, because it reveals so much about Manhattan-Beltway media elites that it really deserves a close read by everyone inside and outside the Beltway.
Ted Cruz romped to a win in Texas and has excited conservatives across the country for the same reason Marco Rubio did the same thing four years ago: They not only believe the right things about America, they can articulate those things with passion and eloquence. Governors Christie, Kasich, Perry and Walker and Senator Paul believe many of the same things but none of them can deliver the same kind of speech. It’s the difference between the first guy in the staring rotation and everyone else. The speed of the fastball or the break of the curve is just consistently higher.
W was much loved by most conservatives, even through the most troubled years of his presidency, and is much missed by them now, but except for a few crucial occasions, he wasn’t a man who could summon the words to inspire and excite. Mitt Romney was consistently charming and persuasive, and of course destroyed President Obama in the one debate where the format allowed for the two to come to close grips on substance.
But Cruz and Rubio have the music down, and conservatives haven’t had that since the years of Reagan. The other would-be leaders of the GOP in 2016 are all accomplished in their own ways, but only Cruz and Rubio can truly give a speech in a way that brings people to their feet on a routine basis.
This is a much undervalued quality among the opinion elites who don’t much attend much less listen to speeches –indeed they are suspicious of politicians who can bring people to their feet, especially conservatives who can get crowds cheering– but it will matter a great deal in the next three years.