Ted Cruz’ latest desperate move suggests that he isn’t nearly smart as he keeps telling us he is. After going zero for five in the April 26 primaries, Cruz clearly does not have a coherent plan for staying relevant in the hunt for the Republican Presidential nomination. The Fat Lady is singing and Cruz’s gigantic ego is preventing him from hearing her aria.
In a crazy effort to get media attention, Cruz has announced that Carly Fiorina, a badly failed candidate in the Republican sweepstakes, will be his vice presidential running mate. Putting aside for a minute the fact that he can’t actually have a running mate unless he wins the Republican nomination, this may be the worst bit of strategy since Custer selected the site for his last stand.
What Fiorina bring to Cruz’s fantasy ticket is a doubling down on mean-spirited and nasty. However, he already had that constituency locked down. She is nothing but a female version of the Texas Senator.
Moreover, her political resume is thinner than thin. Fiorina’s only other venture into electoral politics was a loss in a California election for the U.S. Senate. She spent some time during her presidential bid on the undercard, the so-called kid’s table, because of her consistently low standing in public opinion polls. In fact, she brings no discernible strengths to this imaginary role.
As a presidential candidate, she will be remembered for two things, neither one of which will help the Cruz campaign. Most famously, she kept indignantly referring to a totally discredited video about Planned Parenthood. Evidence that it was a doctored fabrication didn’t faze Fiorina, but it certainly undercut what little credibility she had.
In addition, she was in the early going the most enthusiastic critic, again not constrained by any facts, of Hillary Clinton. While the vice presidential nominee traditionally plays the role of attack dog in a General Election, this particular expertise of Fiorina’s is irrelevant since this team will not make it to the finals.
If the claim is that she brings business experience to the ticket, she and Cruz will have to deal with the many questions that have surrounded her tenure at HP. And you can count on Donald Trump to lead that charge just as he did when she was a candidate for the top position.
Actually, that point may provide a better clue as to Cruz’s thinking. Maybe he is hoping that the frontrunner, and all but certain nominee, will shift his focus from “Lying Ted” to his new running mate. That would at least be a rational motivation for selecting Fiorina. Other than that, the move looks like the desperate last gasp of a campaign that’s about to disappear from public view.