Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to Ted Cruz

In auto racing it’s called “drafting”: The lead car knifes through the air, creating a vacuum that sucks the car behind it along in its wake. Shrewd drafting saves the second car gasoline and wear and tear until the final push into the lead as the finish line nears.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is cleverly and successfully “drafting” Donald Trump on the Republican track of the U.S. presidential race.

Trump is aiding Cruz in three ways: by taking (until now) virtually all of the heat from the American (and indeed world) media; by preventing other potential Cruz competitors from locking in voters; and, most important, by obscuring the fact that in many cases Cruz’s votes and views are more extreme and outlandish than Trump’s.

Politics is a game of comparison. And at first glance, or sound bite, Trump sounds far more outrageous than anyone else in the race. That, in fact, has been his whole strategy. But on most issues Cruz is not only more to the right, he is far more disciplined, focused, organized and disruptive.