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Pick One: Trump, DeSantis, Cruz (Not For Prison, For The White House)

In his provocative video for The Bulwark yesterday, Tim Miller noted that “the overcooked Hamburglar has dodged the law for decades. Whether it’s delay and obfuscation, payoffs, or throwing subordinates under the bus, he’s consistently conned the legal process. And in this case, he’s the ex-president, which makes shit even more complicated. The icing on the kerfuffle cupcake is that all the GOP cuckolds circled the wagons for him again. Despite the fact that they once pretended to really, really, care about keeping government documents secure… [T]he dude stashing classified docs is telling his mob that the Justice Department is made up of vicious monsters; that our elections are a fraud and he should be reinstated; that there are evil people in our midst; and that the Chinese despot is awesome. What word would you use for all that? Whether you call it semi-fascist, stupid fascist, or none of the above, as long as he is allowed to continue stoking that mob and leading the Republican party the danger for all of us remains hot.”

Trump’s a dead duck, even if most Republicans still don’t know it. Now it’s all just about the grifting and staying out of prison for the former illegitimate “president.” So the Democrats should be concentrating their firepower on Ron DeSantis, right? Blue Dog Charlie Crist knows he has virtually no chance against him and is just setting himself up for a 2024 run against Rick Scott. One of his top campaign staffers told a friend of mine that Crist will be lucky to come within 10 points of DeSantis. So he’s the 2024 candidate? I think so… but Ted Cruz is less sure. Washington Examiner politics guy David Drucker reported that Cruz is plotting his own bid. Drucker caught up with him campaigning in New Hampshire. Remember, Cruz was the 2016 runner-up against Trump, the last “traditional” Republican left standing. Cruz is no longer traditional; he’s as MAGA as DeSantis or any of the other semi-fascists hoping Trump dies so they can run instead.

Cruz, wrote Drucker “conceded he has not ruled out mounting a second campaign— even if former President Donald Trump enters the race. But the senator also confirmed in a brief interview… Thursday evening he will make no decision about 2024 until he knows Trump’s plans. Any Republican mulling a White House bid who says otherwise (and at the very least, that includes former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) is, Cruz insists, being dishonest about his or her internal deliberations.”

“There are a lot of candidates out there feeling their oats and boasting, ‘I’m running no matter what. I don’t care what Donald Trump says.’ Anyone who says that is lying. That’s an idiotic statement for someone to make who’s actually thinking about running,” Cruz said after headlining a rally for Karoline Leavitt, the Republican candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, before a couple of hundred voters and activists.
“I don’t know what Trump’s going to decide— nobody does. Anybody who tells you they do is making things up,” the senator said. “The whole world will change depending on what Donald Trump decides. That’s true for every candidate. That’s true of every potential candidate.”
…Despite Trump’s flaws and downsides, and despite the party losing the House, Senate, and White House on his watch, he remains an iconic Republican figure with a hold on the imagination of many grassroots conservatives. Cruz understands that.
But just in case he needed reminding: One of his bartenders at the American Legion, a hangout for military veterans, in this conservative corner of southern New Hampshire was sporting a “Trump 2024” T-shirt that seemed to loom like a shadow over the senator as he sipped his beer. Peter Duffy, 60, a Republican voter and volunteer for Leavitt’s campaign, illustrated the Trump factor another way.
“I love Ted Cruz,” he said after the senator delivered a rousing 20-minute speech for Leavitt, a former Trump administration official, that had the crowd cheering and laughing. “Ted Cruz is very intelligent. He is very sophisticated. He knows the law, first of all. He’s very pro-American. And I believe him— bottom line.” So, would Duffy like to see Cruz run for president again?
“I would like to see Ted Cruz [become] attorney general of the United States,” he said. Duffy’s preference against President Joe Biden, or whomever the Democrats nominate, is Trump. “Nobody can do it like he can do it. And I believe he will [run]. And I believe he will win, no doubt about it.”
If Cruz is undecided about running for president, he is not undecided about running.
The senator will run for reelection in Texas in 2024 if he does not seek to lead the Republican Party’s national ticket and has spent the past nearly two years preparing to field a $100 million campaign that makes both options available to him. Texas law allows Cruz to run for the Republican nomination for Senate and president simultaneously.
As part of Cruz’s effort to seed a potential presidential bid, he is crisscrossing the country this fall campaigning for Republicans on the 2022 ballot, raising millions of dollars for the candidates he is supporting. The plan is to connect with voters in key battlegrounds and early primary states, such as New Hampshire, and create a network of allies in the House and Senate whose assistance could prove crucial in a crowded and competitive nominating contest.

Aside from crisscrossing the country campaigning for Republicans, Cruz is trying to stake out the furthest right positions on everything. Living up to Hillary’s statement on Watch What Happens Live yesterday that Cruz was the biggest blowhard in the Senate when she was serving, he is leading the opposition to the Marriage Equality Act and blew up a journalism anti-trust bill meant to give news organizations greater leverage against the giant tech companies.

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