The Corner

Gaming Out Cruz’s Speech

The conventional wisdom is that the ultimate impact on Cruz of last night depends on November and whether Trump wins (bad for Cruz), or loses narrowly (risky for Cruz) or handily (good for Cruz). This might well be the case, but is probably too simplistic. It may be that Republican voters regard it as the equivalent of a “Christie hug” — an unforgivable lack of loyalty at a key moment — and it damages Cruz no matter what happens in November. Also, it doesn’t necessarily hurt Cruz if Trump wins, because in that circumstance Cruz will want to be the conscience of conservatives in the Senate and his speech will have set the predicate. In other words, unlike the weasely, almost certainly insincere soft Trump endorsement of a Marco Rubio, this speech was a leap into the dark.

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