Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made it official Monday, announcing on Twitter and then at Liberty University that he would run for president in 2016.
Although they are polar opposites politically, Cruz is following a career path similar to Barack Obama's. Both are Ivy League-educated lawyers. Both rose meteorically through the political ranks, with Cruz winning a seat in the Senate 2 1/2 years ago in his first bid for public office. Both entered the presidential race after serving less than one term in office in Washington. Critics of Obama say he's repeatedly refused to compromise with congressional Republicans, and Cruz has a record of not compromising even with leaders of his own party.
And perhaps most significantly, both framed their presidential candidacies as rejections of the political establishment. Obama presented himself as the agent of hope and change who would usher in a post-partisan era; that didn't work out so well. Cruz positions himself as the "disruptive app" that will help restore liberty (except on social issues) and small government (except when it comes to national security and the borders).
Like Obama in 2007, though, Cruz is largely a blank slate for most people. They may know him as one of the most committed opponents of Obamacare, or maybe as the guy who helped shut down much of the federal government for 16 days in 2013. But they probably couldn't tell you where he was born (Canada), what his professional background is (a mix of political appointments in Washington and Texas, with some campaign work and corporate law thrown in), or what his economic plan is (he's posted some of it here).
In other words, it's early yet. Nevertheless, we have to ask -- what do you think about Cruz's candidacy? Take our ridiculously unscientific poll, leave a comment or do both!Follow Healey's intermittent Twitter feed: @jcahealeyCopyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times