The blandishment failed to move his audience. Cruz occupies a place of singular ignominy on the opinion pages of the paper, which treats him as an opportunistic charlatan — even by Washington, D.C., standards. And yet, the strained relationship between Cruz and what is perhaps the Right’s most widely read editorial page underscores the strengths and weaknesses of his political brand as well as the obstacles he will face if he joins the 2016 primary field.

Cruz maintains that the tension is one-sided. “I’m a big fan of the Wall Street Journal,” he tells National Review Online in a statement. “The Journal’s editorial page has long been the most important space in journalism, a thriving intellectual platform that provides space for ideas to compete.”

The feeling is not mutual. Journal editorials routinely attempt to diminish his potential as a presidential candidate, with critical asides woven into pieces on issues to which Cruz is only tangential.