Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cruz Sold His Soul For A Mess Of Iowa Pottage

The Biblical story (Genesis 25:32) tells the story of brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau comes into the home tent "starving" and smells Jacob's cooking (pottage) and is willing to give up his birthright in exchange for the meal.Thus in common parlance;

"A mess of pottage is something immediately attractive but of little value taken foolishly and carelessly in exchange for something more distant and perhaps less tangible but immensely more valuable."

Senator Cruz exchanged his values for the now not glittering prize of barely finishing first in "pottage"Iowa.

Cruz's first place finish has been diminished, if not tarnished by his team's,to be kind, incompetence, and to taker a broader, well documented view "lies" (CNN) "Unethical and unfair tactics" (Iowa Governor Branstad) "dirty tricks" (Dr.Carson) Misrepresentation(Iowa Secretary of State") "Fraud" (The New Yorker.)

And on it goes:

Ted Cruz, in New List of Endorsements, Includes Lawmaker Who Didn’t Endorse Him

The list of the Cruz's teams tactics which underlie the above condemnations include a "Here's your neighbors voting record" The "fail" mailer, and the Cruz team advising caucus goers that Dr.Carson had pulled out of Iowa and his supporters should switch to Cruz.

Cruz has publicly apologized to Carson (whilst blaming CNN who went apoplectic) one of a number of Cruz apologies over time (to New Yorkers/Veterans/Senate colleagues) perhaps there is something to the claim that "nobody likes Ted Cruz."

"Cruz fares worse in New Hampshire on favorability, with 61 percent saying they have a negative view of the Texas senator and 38 percent viewing him favorably." Harper Polling Of new Hampshire after Iowa caucuses 2/3/16" 

Cruz and his team put a massive win at all costs effort into Iowa. In doing so Cruz veered to an extreme Evangelically focused campaign. This has indelibly created a public image of a non-mainline person who would have a major challenge in pivoting to appeal to the broad base of the American voter.

Certainly Cruz's Iowa "personality" played badly in New Hampshire. Any idea that Cruz had of coming out of Iowa with a strong win and the wind behind him to take New Hampshire was destroyed the day after his Iowa win when the Carson news broke and his team's tactics (and the venom of his supporters on social media) came under the spotlight.

Instead, in exchange for having exactly one more delegate than Trump, whose second place finish with a small ground game and in the face of a substantial Evangelical voting pool, now looks quite positive, Cruz performed poorly in New Hampshire and it is Trump who is leading in the delegate count and has the wind at his back as the campaign heads to South Carolina.

A quick study of the voting history of the Iowa caucuses might have been instructive to Cruz. It has been shown, time and again that winning Iowa is more often than not a dead end but making a decent showing, with a positive on message campaign, can be the winning formula.

Cruz appears to have neglected this historical truth in the quest for victory at any price. The price of his team's ethic's may well be Cruz's "Esau moment"