I don’t think Cruz is likely to win the nomination, but I do think he will play an important role nonetheless:
Cruz is a long shot to win the nomination, but he is a canny politician with enough of a base of support to act as an ideological enforcer during the primaries. And one of the most important orthodoxies he will be policing is total, uncompromising opposition to what will invariably be referred to as “Obamacare.”
Another notable aspect of Cruz’s announcement was the date: Monday was the fifth anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act. The significance of this was swiftly grasped. Republican power broker William Kristol explained the symbolic importance of the date to his Twitter followers, and added that if “he makes zeal for repeal AND real plan to replace a centerpiece of his run, has a shot.”
Somehow I doubt that Cruz will propose that replacement.
It’s nice that Bill Kristol has come up with a zingy one-liner to describe the drive to take health insurance away from more than 10 million people. (The fact that he thinks Cruz has a shot is reassuring, though.)
Some additional links: Nate Cohn has a good explanation of why Cruz is a longshot; Dara Lind explains why Cruz is eligible to run for president despite having the distinction of being born in Calgary; and Josh Israel has a good tip of the iceberg of Cruzian wingnuttery.