Back in January, before Iowa, I suggested that one plausible reading of Trump is that he was clearing a path for Cruz.
Whether that is intentional or not, effectively that is what Trump has done. Cruz has hung in winning states and delegates. Meanwhile the GOPe has been entirely flat footed responding to Trump. Around the 19th hole of country clubs across America the donor class had been counting on Jeb!. He plowed. Then they, in a panic, put their faith in Marco Rubio, he’s plowing and will be out of the race unless he can, somehow, pickup from a 15 point deficit to Trump in his home state of Florida.
Meanwhile, the big Republican guns are all trained on the iceberg which is Donald Trump. The thing about icebergs is you can shoot shells into them until the seals come home and, if they are big enough, they just absorb the explosions and the shells.
While GOPe has been shooting at Trump they have pretty much given Cruz a free pass. So has the media. Plus, no matter how he tries, Cruz is simply never going to say anything as outrageous as Trump. Cruz is not news until Rubio is out of the race and, even then, Trump will keep packing the halls and channeling the anger.
GOPe hate Trump and fear Cruz; but where Trump in full spate could embarrass the GOP for years, Cruz might well give Hilly a respectable fight. Now, smart money would say Hilly wins against Cruz. Name recognition alone should do the trick and Sanders has been an excellent sparring partner. Cruz is bright enough to know that and, I suspect, is pleased to have Trump out front hurling accusations and suggesting that Hilly will either be in jail or in hospital before the General. (And he may well be right.)
But, from Cruz’s perspective he wants to run against Hilly. While she may not be in jail by November, she may very well be indicted or named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the vanity email server scandal. She is not particularly well and a few more coughing fits will call her health into serious question. Cruz has to pray she stays out of jail and healthy long enough to keep Uncle Joe Biden at bay. (Yes, he is a poltroon, but Biden is not unpopular and no one is investigating his vanity server.)
So will the GOPe, in a two candidate race, back Trump or Cruz? And will it matter? The math begins to shift Trump’s way this week with winner take all states coming up. The best the GOPe can hope to do is somehow cast doubt on Trump’s capacity to be President. If Rubio is out they have no candidate of their own so all that doubt means votes for Cruz.
Around the net I will occasionally write, Trump/Cruz for the win. But Cruz/and a fairly mainstream, big state, Republican could make a lot of sense. (If Jeb! had not been so pathetic on the trail he might have been a decent pick.)
Cruz running against Hilly would be a less flamboyant but likely more interesting race than a Hilly Trump affray. Cruz is much smarter than Hilly and she knows it. One on one there is every chance he’d use his prosecutorial skills to dig hard.
Cruz speaks Spanish, is 45 to her 68 and has had a remarkable academic, legal, legislative and administrative career. The fact the GOPe is terrified of him suggests that his conservative credentials are in order.
The Trump iceberg will sail on drawing futile fire until, perhaps, it melts of its own accord. Meanwhile, it will have sheltered Cruz for six or seven months.