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By Jordan Bosworth

What will you do?
ISIS, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram…
Choose a side.

“Stop the terrorists.”
“Secure our borders.”
“I have nothing to hide.”

“They blow up mosques and schools…
‘Death to Israel!’”
Broken deals; no trust.

“Strike a balance.”
“Keep Americans safe.”
“Government protects us.”

“’God is Great!’”
“They say, and do not.”
“Take heed that no man deceive you.”

I choose faith and
Compassion and understanding.
What will you do?
Lines 7, 8, 13: PBS Frontline- The Fight for Yemen aired 4/7/2015 10-11pm
Lines 10, 11: Senator Carper’s response to an email about the coming re-authorization of the Patriot Act
Lines 14 and 15: Jesus’ words from St. Matthew (KJV) 23:3 and 24:4
Meaning of 1, 6, and 7: http://numerologycalculator.org/numerology-meanings-chart.html

Political Profile for Week Five: Senator Ted Cruz

5. Ted Cruz, Junior Senator from Texas:
Basic Background Information

  • 44 years old
  • Graduated from Princeton University
  • Received law degree from Harvard University
  • Was a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist
  • Briefly practiced law
  • Served Governor George W. Bush as a domestic policy adviser
  • Served as associate deputy attorney general in the US Justice Department
  • Solicitor General of Texas from 2003-2008
  • Practiced law again briefly
  • Became the junior senator from Texas in 2012

5. Ted Cruz Political Profile

  • Well suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses

–Iowa-yes, New-Hampshire-No

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)

–Canadian citizenship-probably a non-issue, but could be used against him.

–Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, associates with extreme right wing figures and has a propensity to make incendiary and sometimes insane comments. Rafael Cruz has also shown a willingness to get involved in political matters/endorse candidates that could cause further embarrassment (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/07/the-six-craziest-quotes-from-ted-cruz-s-father-rafael-cruz.html).

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–Unpopular politicians: Cruz has embraced being one of Sarah Palin’s favorite politicians.

–Cruz’s role in instigating the government shutdown has made him many enemies amongst “establishment” Republicans.

–Unpopular positions for the Republican primary:

  • Nothing major.

–Unpopular positions for the general election:

  • Pro-life with the life of the mother as the only exception.
  • Personally opposes same-sex marriage; let individual states decide.
  • Opposes gun control.
  • Opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (opposed the Senate’s immigration bill)
  • Supports privatizing social security.
  • Face of the government shutdown and Tea Party radicalism.

–No experience governing (not a governor)

–Abrasive personality.

–Largely seen as an unelectable Republican.

Has only served two years in the senate

  • What is this candidate’s selling points?

–The Tea Party may not be the biggest segment of the Republican electorate, but it is the most passionate, vocal, and fastest growing. Many Tea Party activists would support a Cruz bid.

  • The Tea Party adores Cruz. Becoming the face of the movement.
  • The Tea Party’s backing is extremely important in a Republican primary and Cruz seems likely to win it.

–Seems especially beloved by Iowans, which would prove useful in the important Iowa caucus.

–For whatever you think of his politics or his strategy, he is extremely smart. Did not just attend ivy league schools, excelled there.

–Has a history of being an excellent debater. We have seen candidates who were skilled debaters directly benefit from the frequent debates during the Republican primary season (see Newt Gingrich in 2012).

–May just be capable of taking tea party aims and articulating a coherent vision for America.

–At present, Cruz is personally despised by much of the Republican establishment, thanks to his antics and reputation for not being a team player. For many Republicans, drawing the ire of the establishment is an asset not a drawback.

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

–Republican primaries and its not close. Still seems far too conservative to be a viable general election candidate. Identifies as an outsider, behaves like an outsider, but in many ways, his background says otherwise.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Neither- His role in the government shutdown hurt his chances amongst the general population, but it did make him extremely popular with the Tea Party and dramatically increased his name recognition.

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–Eight. Cruz seems likely to run, but he is relatively young and can afford to bide his time if he doesn’t feel ready. He has not made an announcement either way yet.

Ted Cruz: Key Questions

  • Can Cruz overcome the unelectable argument to win the Republican nomination?
  • Can Cruz inspire a powerful enough grassroots conservative movement to overcome the Republican establishment?

Political Profile for Week Four: Senator Rand Paul

4. Rand Paul, Junior Senator from Kentucky:
Basic Background Information

  • 52 years old
  • The son of former Congressman Ron Paul
  • Attended Baylor University but did not graduate
  • Received a medical degree from Duke University
  • Practiced Ophthalmology (eye doctor) beginning in 1993
  • Became the junior US Senator from Kentucky in 2010
  • Term expires in 2016

4. Rand Paul Political Profile

  • Well-suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses?

–Iowa-yes, New Hampshire-yes, South-Carolina-no, Florida-no.

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)?

–Plagiarism scandal and anything and everything Ron Paul related (isolationism, ties to white supremacism and anti-Semitism).

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–Unpopular positions for the Republican primary:

  • Supported the sequester/supports cutting military spending.
  • Supports legalizing medical marijuana.
  • Opposes mandatory minimums.
  • Opposes the Ryan Budget Plan.
  • Opposes a national ban on same-sex marriage.

–Unpopular positions for the general election:

  • Personally opposes same-sex marriage; let individual states decide.
  • Pro-Life without exceptions/supports banning all abortions.
  • Opposes raising the debt limit without balancing the budget.
  • Wants to eliminate the federal reserve.
  • Wants to make drastic cuts to or eliminate certain federal departments all together (including the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development).
  • Opposes gun control.
  • Opposes foreign aid for financial reasons.

–Ron Paul’s radical policy positions (especially foreign policy) could harm his son’s candidacy.

–His foreign policy vision, while less radical than his father’s, is still concerning to much of the Republican party.

–Has been in the past been dismissed as unelectable. Working hard to change this perception.

–Also been criticized of frequently changing his views to suit his audience.

–No experience governing (not a governor).

–Prickly (overly sensitive about criticism), has a reputation for treating media members (especially women) poorly.

  • What is this candidate’s selling points/credentials?

–Has served in the Senate for four years.

–Has shown the ability to work with Democrats on a few select issues (i.e. criminal justice reform)

–Appeals to the tea-party, libertarians, and even some establishment Republicans. Is willing to express views that are unusual for the typical tea-party member, yet he manages to remain popular among the different factions in the Republican Party.

–A Paul candidacy has the potential to be very popular amongst Iowa and New Hampshire voters; sweeping those first two states could go a long way to locking up the nomination.

–It is also said that Paul loyalists control Iowa’s Republican party.

–Unique, charismatic, extremely intelligent

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

– Originally ran for senate as an outsider. His republican primary opponent was considered the establishment. But Paul seems to be making a concerted effort of late to court the Republican establishment. Has formed an alliance with Mitch McConnell. Not hated by other senators like Senator Cruz is. With that said, Paul remains best suited for the Republican primary.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Neither–Since he was Governor of Massachusetts, which borders New Hampshire, Mitt Romney was extremely well-known and popular there. Romney not running, makes Paul one of the early favorites to win New Hampshire.

–Paul made some dumb comments about whether government should compel parents to vaccinate their children. He wasn’t the only Republican to do so. However, Paul’s comments stand out because they come from a doctor. Paul of all people should have known better. Media miscues more generally are becoming a liability.

On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–Nine. What good is a Republican primary if a Paul isn’t running? On a serious note though, although Senator Paul is trying to fight it, it does not appear that he will legally be allowed to run for senator and president. So by running for president, he would risk losing his safe senate seat.

Rand Paul: Key Questions

  • Is Rand Paul electable?
  • Does Paul’s foreign policy positions make it impossible for him to win the Republican nomination?
  • Will he be hurt by having very little political experience?
  • Is he willing to risk a safe senate seat to run in a very crowded and talented Republican primary?
  • Will his efforts to reach out to constituencies who typically vote for Democrats help him in any way?
  • Can he unite the Republican Party (at least the non-establishment parts)?
  • Can he expand his base beyond Ron Paul fanatics?