Please note that I didn't ask in which office you would prefer to see Cruz serve. For 99.99% of Red Staters, the answer is a given: we'd all love to see him as our next President. I myself signed up several months ago to draft him, paid my $25, and have the bumper sticker on my car.
But happily watching how Cruz has defended, motivated and led GOP House conservatives in opposition to BOTH Obama AND Boehner, it's reasonable to ask what chance does he have to win each office, and then, as a corollary, where could he accomplish the most good for the country.
Let's take the question of the White House first. He'd face a bruising series of primaries, and the GOPe opposition (see Mississippi senate primary) would do everything possible to derail his candidacy. Enough so that if he managed to win the nomination, he could be fatally damaged for the general election.
Ironically, I'd also have to say that his chances in the general are probably better than for the nomination. If Hillary's the candidate, she's tied to Obama, and who knows what more damaging material will come out of Gowdy's Benghazi hearings. If she doesn't run, then against a Biden, or a Warren, or an O'Malley, he'd have a very good chance.
And there are many who feel that after 8 years of Obama's incompetency, we need our next president to be someone who has actually run something. Cruz's resume is lacking in that regard. I think that is partly the reason for Perry's recent resurgence. Texas works, and works well, and Perry 's a big reason why that's so.
But Speaker..that's a different matter entirely. He just needs to win a majority of the House GOP caucus. Republicans are going to gain seats in the House this November..they're talking about 245 as a realistic goal. Whatever the final number, the next House Republican caucus will be more conservative.
Which brings us to Boehner and McCarthy. Boehner is vulnerable..there is speculation that he might well step down. When McCarthy was elected Majority Leader, I wrote here that I can't see him as Speaker-in-waiting. He lacks the ideological chops, and the gravitas, for the position.
The Constitution is clear. One does NOT have to be a member of the House to be elected Speaker. I suspect that Cruz already has 50+ members who would vote for him tomorrow for Speaker. That number will grow as Boehner continues to mess things up.
But for the idea to take root, to become viable, Cruz would first have to remove himself from the 2016 discussion. Speaker of the House can't be a fall back position; a consolation prize.
Here's a thought: There's a Red State gathering next weekend. I can't be there..but maybe we can put together a straw poll, asking attendees how and where they'd like to see Ted Cruz next serve the United States.