The Corner

Full Service

Today on the homepage, we publish Part II of my series “A Friend in the Arena.” This series attempts to answer the question, “What’s it like to have a friend run for president?” (In my case, the friend and candidate is Ted Cruz.)

Here on the Corner, I want to go back to something I discussed in Part I. I pointed out that Cruz is exceptionally versatile. He’s a legal eagle, of course. (Harvard Law Review, clerkship with chief justice, solicitor general of Texas, etc.) He knows a boatload about domestic policy — the alphabet soup of our government and its programs. He is steeped in economics, particularly of the classical-liberal variety. He is well versed in foreign policy, defense, and national security. And he knows the “social issues”: abortion, school prayer, and the rest of it.

Is school prayer still an issue? It was hot when I was young. Anyway …

Cruz is a strict constructionist, or constitutionalist. A policy reformer and a bit of a wonk. A free-marketeer. A hawk. And a social conservative — staunch against abortion, for example, and for religious liberty. Cruz is what some call “a full-spectrum conservative.”

Which leads me to the point of this post. I’d like to tell a story. Several years ago, I wrote a piece about New Mexico’s then-new governor, Susana Martinez. I said she was a Reagan man (pardon the expression), a “full service” Republican or conservative. Kevin Williamson said he was pleased by my coinage: “full service.”

Honestly, it was an accident. I was trying to think of “full spectrum.” And it just came out “full service.”

Which I kind of like, actually. Out of the mouths of babes …


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