Certainly, every person running for president need be ambitious enough to do what is necessary to rise through the ranks of power, and surely it must have been his or her aim to rise to the Oval Office for a number of years. Or did Bill Clinton just store away a picture with John F. Kennedy so he would have a fun souvenir for his grandkids?
Given that this is the reality of politics, does the D.C. Republican political class honestly believe that Marco Rubio does not share these traits? How about Jeb Bush? Or Chris Christie?
While it may be that Cruz personally grates on the GOP establishment because he challenges them and won’t play ball, perhaps its key concern is that it feels that his conservatism is out of the mainstream, thus making him unelectable in a general election. If so, the establishment should make that case to the GOP primary voters — at this writing it should be noted, Cruz falls within the margin of error or better against presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a general election.
Cruz has not specifically laid out his general election strategy, but from what we do know, it appears he is in fact echoing that of President Obama. Cruz intends to activate the most ideological part of the party base via micro-targeting, drastically increasing conservative voter turnout, rather than catering to the “middle.” This challenges the conventional wisdom, and it may prove unsuccessful.
But in light of the past, the burden of proof rests on the GOP establishment to show that its strategy is any better.