Republicans think they have a deep bench of potential presidential candidates for 2016. It consists, by most reckonings, of Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, and an assortment of other governors.
But for me, the bench looks more problematic today than it did six months ago. I have never been fond of Rand Paul because, among other concerns, of his views on foreign and defense policy. Rubio lost me on amnesty/path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Paul Ryan may be going down the same path on that issue. Jindal is unpopular in his home state right now.
Politics abhors a vacuum. Thus, as warts are revealed on the top-tier contenders, the possibility of additional serious contenders emerges.
It is in that context that I construe this report from Robert Costa of NRO that Ted Cruz is considering a run at the presidency in 2016. My view can be summarized in three words: come on in.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t need to learn more about this newcomer to the national scene. We know he is super-smart, super-articulate, and strongly conservative. I’d like to know more about his views on foreign and defense policy and his ability to connect with a broad range of voters.
But I have seen enough to want to see more.
UPDATE: I should have included Chris Christie by name on the “deep bench” list. Christie doesn’t change the calculus for Cruz and those interested in a Cruz candidacy, though. The New Jersey governor would occupy a position well to the left of the Texas Senator.