The Case for Ted Cruz for President

Should the Texan Run in 2016?

Mark Wilson - Getty Images News

(Editor's note: This is not an endorsement. Leading up to the 2016 presidential nominating contests - which rest assured have already begun - all leading possible contenders will be analyzed from a conservative perspective. We will highlight the major benefits and pitfalls of all possible candidates.)

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is perhaps the biggest conservative star to have emerged from the 2012 election cycle.

In his brief tenure in the Senate, he has positioned himself as the leading voice of opposition to the big government agenda being pushed by both the liberal Democrats and moderate Republicans. Cruz has stood uncompromisingly for conservatism and has built a strong connection with movement conservatives. But simply being conservative doesn't make one qualified to be President. It also doesn't mean one would be a good candidate. So, does Ted Cruz have what it takes to be a strong contender in 2016?

Short Political Career, Long Constitutional Resume

While many politicians have law degrees, it seems few lawyers-turned-politicians have an impressive legal resume before running for office. Ted Cruz shatters that longstanding trend. And although Cruz lacks political experience, he makes up for that with a resume filled with defending conservative constitutional principles on a meaningful level.

After serving briefly in the George W. Bush White House, Cruz was appointed Solicitor General of Texas where he would later argue - and win - major cases before the United States Supreme Court. In one major victory, Cruz drafted the legal brief that eventually led to overturning a portion of a federal law that made gun ownership in Washington, D.C.

effectively illegal. Cruz has been noted for his exceptional oratory skills that and he gently mocks the those who rely on teleprompters.

The Canadian, Hispanic, Texan, Conservative

Eligibility for office will probably come up for Cruz if he decides to run. His parents were working in the oil industry in Canada at the time of his birth, meaning he was not born in the United States. But just as a child born to an American family while on vacation in France would still be a US citizen, so to is Cruz. We anticipate that he will be hassled over the issue by liberals given the attention paid to such winners as Donald Trump during his Obama birthplace obsession. He may even have some issues with "birthers" in his own party. Mostly, Cruz is a Texan. And having roots in Texas is often a winning formula. George W. Bush twice won the presidency, and Rick Perry raised a ton of money and was handed the lead in the 2012 primary, but had trouble backing up the hype. Like Obama, Cruz has a white mother and minority (Hispanic) father. His father came from Cuba and did not speak any English when he came to the United States. Cruz's family background could prove a compelling story for voters.

A Sarah Palin Ally

If Cruz does decide to run for president in 2016, he probably has one very strong voice in his corner: 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Of course, this would also require Palin didn't offer herself up as a candidate. Palin did not endorse any candidate during the 2012 primary cycle probably because, like most conservatives, she wasn't thrilled with the field. Palin is clearly thrilled with Cruz. She was arguably the chief vote-mover in Cruz's upset victory in the 2012 Republican primary against a popular Lt. Governor. Cruz even credited Palin's support with his eventual victory. And while Palin has supported many other conservatives and helped launch political careers, few outside of Cruz seem willing to associate too much with Palin. Given Palin's general success in picking winners and Palin's popularity with grassroots conservatives, it's probably a smart move for Cruz.

Current Outlook

Ted Cruz has a bit of a challenge on his hands as the "anti-establishment" side of the aisle has been dominated by Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Carson has spent years growing a faithful base, while Trump has been propelled by conservative talk radio and "tea party" websites that have focused on taking out the Republican Party. He still has some advantages: He has actually won an election before and has a much better grasp on the issues than either Trump or Carson. But a move to the extreme right had him flipping on some previously held positions, and it could endanger his mainstream credentials.