He’s not ‘one of the guys’ on the trail, but he also didn’t seem to belong in the Ivy League – or even among politicos
The weather has finally cooled a bit, and that can only mean one thing: time for Ted Cruz to dump his ill-fitting suits and ties for his even iller-fitting collection of flannel shirts and leather jackets . The #Cruz Country Christmas Tour (in a private jet) is underway and headed to a town near you.
Why does the Texas Senator lumberjack around America when the temperature drops? Is he trying to create synergy with the cover of his latest book ?
That’s possible, but the real reason Ted Cruz wears flannel shirts and leather jackets in the winter is because he wants nothing more than to be perceived as one of the guys. Not just because it could win him the White House, but because he’s always been that kid in school that had no friends. The one whose parents made him insufferable by constantly telling him how much better he is than everyone else.
Cruz’s father, Rafael, has been brainwashing his son since he was about four years old to believe he’s “gifted above any man he knows” and “destined by God for greatness”, the kinds of delusions that were guaranteed to get him stuffed in a locker by junior high.
Unfortunately, training to become Daddy’s little messiah didn’t leave Cruz time to develop even the slightest sense of style, and GQ has some stern fashion advice for him.
“In general, we’re not exactly sure why presidential hopefuls think that oversized, awkward leather jackets will make them seem more, ‘relatable to voters”, the website said Tuesday.
First, the jacket just doesn’t fit. If you’re looking for one, make sure the shoulder seams hit at your actual shoulders and there’s not so much fabric pooling around your elbows (a slimmer cut would fix that). Second, it’s also bizarrely vague style, neither a bomber nor a cafe-type racer. Cruz opted for on nondescript zip-front jacket that we think calling basic might be too complimentary.
Even that weird, animatronic twang Cruz speaks with, despite having grown up in urban Houston attending private schools, raised by his Canadian mom and Cuban-accented dad, is a sad attempt to make you think he’s a regular working stiff. Nothing could be further from the truth.
So he pretends to fit in with blue-collar types, but he was also pretending when in the company of his supposed milieu. Ever since Cruz came on the national, political stage in 2013, his freshman roommate at Princeton has been tweeting college memories of the junior Senator, and not in a good way.
“I begged them for a different room or roommate. Begged. They didn’t understand then. They do now,” Craig Mazin tweeted about Cruz in 2013. Mazin is a professional screenwriter and avowed anti-Cruzite. “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone,” he told The Daily Beast . “I would rather pick somebody from the phone book.”
Of course, not everyone at Princeton hated Cruz. The other dorks on the debate team thought he was a master debater and a “sort of stud” with girls on the debate circuit . (Hoo boy.) Cruz’s debate style meant he didn’t respond to arguments, but reframed them so he could control the conversation. Erik Leitch, who lived in the same building as Cruz, saw that style bleed over into his personal interactions. “The only point of Ted talking to you was to convince you of the rightness of his views,” Leitch said in the same Daily Beast piece.
So, Cruz was a weird kid saddled with a messiah complex who didn’t fit in with the liberal, Ivy League intellectuals in college. Surely he finally found his peer group when he got to Washington, right?
Political strategist Matthew Dowd, who worked with Cruz on the George W Bush campaign, tweeted that “if truth serum was given to the staff of the 2000 Bush campaign,” an enormous percentage of them “would vote for Trump over Cruz”.
“I just don’t like the guy,” George W Bush himself said of Cruz at a political fundraiser for his baby brother Jeb. Well, sure, but he’s just saying that because of his brother, surely.
“The tenor of what he said about the other candidates was really pretty pleasant,” one donor at the party said of Bush . “Until he got to Cruz.”
And Bush is certainly not the only Republican willing to go on the record with his hatred for Cruz.
“The list of GOP politicians and operatives willing to take open shots at Cruz has grown long,” says the Washington Post , listing Senators John McCain, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn and John Thune, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former House speaker John Boehner and former Senator Tom Coburn, for starters.
It looks like a flannel shirt and a leather jacket aren’t going to be enough to overhaul Ted Cruz’s image. He’d need some idea of who he really is instead of who he’s trying to be to win over voters.
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