LAS VEGAS — Last night in Utah, caucusgoers did something that [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] doesn’t usually do in the U.S. Senate: They compromised.
I’m not suggesting that Cruz wouldn’t have won The Beehive State were it not for strategic voting (he garnered nearly 70 percent!), but it’s hard to deny that many Mormon voters (who might otehrwise prefer Kasich’s temperament) cast a strategic vote for Cruz, or— more precisely—against Donald Trump.
“If I got 100 percent of everything I wanted, I would have been divorced forty years ago,” one erstwhile Kasich supporter who caucused for Cruz told a friend of mine last night. Maybe Washington could learn a little bit from Utah’s voters?
(Note: For the last two days, I’ve been in Salt Lake City as part of my Too Dumb to Fail book tour. I’m typing this in Las Vegas, and am headed to Phoenix next. Check out photos of the tour on my Instagram.)
For the good of the country and the GOP, Utahns made the right call. The best way to stop Trump is to support Cruz, thereby depriving Donald Trump of the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination.
And Cruz is gaining steam, having picked up the endorsements of Jeb Bush and The Club for Growth, just to name two, in recent days.
But I think Cruz probably needs to take some additional chances. His campaign has been utterly competent at the blocking and tackling (areas where Marco Rubio’s team was deficient), but when you’re down by a touchdown, you can’t play conservatively (no pun intended).
Here’s one obvious idea that could shake things up: With the “unity ticket” idea out the window, Cruz should still consider selecting a running mate now (or, if there are some legal or technical reasons this cannot happen prior to the nomination, of making his intentions clear).
Cruz, I think, might especially benefit from selecting a female for this role.
Carly Fiorina, who has already endorsed Cruz, could barnstorm the country attacking Hillary Clinton.
Another option might be South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who might soften Cruz’s image a bit, while doubling down on the potential for this to be an historic election no matter who wins the General Election.
Either way, it would be new and fresh and exciting. It would also allow him to basically be in two places at once—to have two stars on TV, on the stump, and on the fundraising circuit.
Cruz, who is down by at least a touchdown, has little to lose from taking this chance—and it could give him some momentum has we head into the fourth quarter of this primary contest. Am I missing something?