Ted Cruz's 21-hour talk-a-thon is over, and while it may not have blocked a vote on the continuing resolution, it certainly succeeded in getting people talking. Here's what they're saying:
- Cruz's fellow Republicans "staged an intervention" beforehand, warning him that it might hurt the party, reveals Dana Milbank at the Washington Post. But "for the ambitious senator from Texas, the most important thing has always been Ted Cruz." That's why he kept returning "to his favorite topic: himself." Now we know such crucial facts as Ted Cruz likes pancakes and White Castle, Ted Cruz hates fact-checkers, and Ted Cruz's dad liked to re-watch movies.
- What's in it for Cruz? Money, according to Patricia Murphy at the Daily Beast. As Cruz talked, his remarks were streamed by the Senate Conservatives Fund, a super PAC that spent $1.3 million on his last election. Cruz and allies like Mike Lee are "using this issue and misleading conservatives in order to expand their own influence and raise money," one GOP operative complains.
- "There's some debate as to whether Cruz is crazy-like-a-fox or just an idiot," writes Alex Pareene at Salon. "That he could be either shows how little it matters." Sure, this might make him a conservative hero, but he "could not be more useless as a senator when it comes to implementing the conservative agenda." It's a real dilemma for the GOP that "their voters love Cruz, and hate actual effective legislators like [Mitch] McConnell."
- But Jim Geraghty at the National Review thinks the media is focusing on Cruz because talking about the issues he's raising would require actual knowledge. "To fume and scoff and sneer and mock Ted Cruz ... you don't really need to know that much." And his colleague Jonah Goldberg thinks that Cruz is revealing himself as "the conservative Barack Obama," an Ivy League-educated ambitious outsider who plays well to his base.
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