Or shall we call him Cruzan the Barbarian? Like Conan, he lurks in the background waiting to strike as the powerful ones beat each other into the ground.
Here are two takes on Cruzan - one from Charles Pierce and the second from Rachel Maddow.
Pierce (in Esquire) has interesting observations about the GOP candidates in the strange place called Iowa.
... Somehow, lost in the blare of the Trump, and amid the blinding brilliance of Dr. Ben (The Blade) Carson on just about every subject known to man, Cruz has run a smart, stealthy campaign, shrewdly calculating that, sooner or later, the two mock frontrunners will come back to the pack and positioning himself as the obvious choice for any of their voters who choose to go over the side. Cruz has money and organization and, unlike many of his rivals, he seems to be capable of a kind of strategic patience.
The momentum already has been strong enough for Cruz to garner an endorsement from Congressman Steve King (R-Produce Department). Rumors abounded all over Des Moines last weekend that Bob Vander Plaats, the influential evangelical ward-heeler who hosted last Friday's shindig, may be about to jump aboard the Tailgunner's glory train as well. This would be a seismic development in the race. ...
Bear in mind, I'm not advocating for any of this. I find the Tailgunner approximately as unlikable as three-quarters of the political world does. But there's no denying that he has built himself some political advantages that none of his rivals have. [_BEGIN SARCASM ALERT._] However, I'm sure that the "moderate GOP establishment" will get behind moderate John Kasich, or moderate Chris Christie, any day now and capsize the entire race. [_END SARCASM ALERT._]
Maddow at MSNBC reports:
... on the background of Troy Newman, radical anti-abortion activist embraced by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and notes that this is the second recent radical association by Cruz, having just spoken at an event where fellow speaker Kevin Swanson advocated the belief that the Bible justifies the execution of gay people.
See Rachel's video clip, "Ted Cruz embraces religious radicals with violent message" (Duration: 8:11).