Like any "candidate of the people" with degrees from Princeton and Harvard and a wife employed by Goldman Sachs, Ted Cruz's primary strength is his ability to lie... effortlessly, flawlessly, relentlessly.
Cruz's primary weakness is that those who know him best hate him the most. Secondly, he looks like a female impersonator. Not just a little bit. To see Ted Cruz walking the halls of Congress is to think a member of the road company of La Cage aux Folles wandered off from the tour group. And third, his father is insane.
While for most candidates these would be substantial drawbacks, Ted Cruz is not most candidates. From birth, this endlessly self-appreciating Cubanadian was raised to see no complexity in his messiah complex.
His Tea Party base, hearing nothing but the dog whistle embedded in his larynx, is with him. That he is thought of as principled while never being factually correct is no small thing. And they will be with him while he treats the social contract as a Ponzi scheme and shills malice as empathy. For no clump of brain-shot zombies on The Walking Dead was less capable of recognizing either their own or the nation's best interest.
But, as Adlai Stevenson knew, you'll need more than that for a majority. To have any chance, Cruz must be made to appear human. To pull that off he mustn't harness his nascent weirdness so much as let it gallop across the political spectrum.
So if we were advising Ted Cruz, it would be as follows:
*BE MORE FABULOUS
Yes you are the most intrinsically evil and self-absorbed politician since Joe McCarthy, but that doesn't mean you can't be saucy and flirtatious.
Take to wearing a dressing gown on the Senate floor.
At committee hearings, in lieu of being a dick, throw your head back with a coquettish laugh and say "oh you're mad."
Try to work the words 'poutine' and 'paella' into a speech on hemispheric policy.
Turn your office into a cabana.
Double down on your already pronounced use of rouge and mascara. Reach out to other Senators by helping Orrin Hatch select a foundation brush and James Inhofe apply eyeliner.
Create a character named 'Tedette' who may or may not be you in drag. This has the potential to become an Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton thing where usually it's you, but it could also be Mike Lee.
Which brings us to Daddy. On the stump, your father has all the coherence of Ricky Ricardo on whippets. Since the vast vast vast majority of Hispanic voters are lucid, Rafael's manic End-Times ravings possess what is known among consultants as limited appeal. So when he introduces you, follow him onstage by ostentatiously shaking your head, batting your heavily made-up eyelashes and uttering a catchphrase along the lines of "Santa mierda mi padre está muy trastornado."
The vice presidency is there Ted. You see yourself as the smartest guy in the room but you are also the cruelest and weirdest. Your base loves the cruel. Now court the weird. By the time they realize you define freedom as the freedom to die from a treatable medical condition, President Bush 45 may have a persistent cough.