Live from Missouri Valley, it’s Ted Cruz

Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports for us on the appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa. Last night Dave caught up with Senator Ted Cruz in Missouri Valley, Iowa. Senator Cruz is the current leader of the polls of Republican caucus goers in Iowa. Matt Flegenheimer’s brief New York Times report from Missouri Valley is here. Dave’s report is below:

It was a cold night at Penny’s Dinner in Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Senator Ted Cruz poured me a cup of coffee at 10:30 p.m. Gospel truth.

For those readers who think Senator Cruz suffers from a charisma deficit, please be advised that he rocked the house last night. If Senator Cruz were the point guard running the team in a tight basketball game, he would have been knocking down threes and passing the ball with skill. Offense, not defense.

After he gave his stump speech I identified myself and asked him about two subjects. I requested that he support the confirmation of my friend Robert Rossister, Jr. as a federal judge for Nebraska. He said he would certainly look at him. Bob is superbly qualified.

I also asked him the short version of the question I put to Governor O’Malley: Should the FBI disclose whether it has cleared Mrs. Clinton or has it referred a criminal case to Justice? His answer was that transparency and accountability are critical in government and have been lacking in the Obama administration. We await FBI Director Comey’s press conference on this important issue.

The Senator’s stump speech was essentially the same as I reported from Council Bluffs. The format is his laundry list for his first day in office. He nailed his 11 points again. After every item the crowd cheered. He closed with his ’70’s analogy regarding Carter and Reagan. “We know how that story ends.”

Before the speech I had a nice chat with reporters from The New York Times and Washington Post. When Cruz bashed The Times, we exchanged smiles. Good fun.

The Senator worked the crowd in a patient, expert and friendly manner after a long day. He chatted with the youngsters and oldsters alike. This event was by far the most fun I have had on this project.