Mother Jones’ surprisingly good profile of Ted Cruz

Back in July, Ted Cruz sent sent shockwaves through the conservative movement when he defeated David Dewhurst, the establishment-backed candidate, in the Texas GOP primary for United States Senate. Cruz’s sharp personality and oratory helped propel him from the cellar in the polls to beating the GOP establishment to being one of the most anticipated speakers at the Republican National Convention in August.

While those of us that followed Cruz during the primary and subsequent runoff know why he eventually captured the hearts and minds of Texas Republican, Mother Jones, a left-wing magazine, has also taken notice, providing a good profile of this rising GOP star — calling him the “Republican Barack Obama”:

No member of the 113th Congress will arrive in Washington with as much hype as Cruz, who in late July survived one of the most expensive primaries in Texas history to knock off Gov. Rick Perry’s second-in-command, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. George Will calls Cruz, the Princeton- and Harvard Law School-educated son of a former Cuban revolutionary, “as good as it gets”; National Review dubbed him “the next great conservative hope,” gushing that “Cruz is to public speaking what Michael Phelps was to swimming.” Political strategist Mark McKinnon channeled the thinking of many in the party when he proclaimed Cruz “the Republican Barack Obama.” He is, with apologies to fellow Cuban American Marco Rubio, the up-and-comer du jour of the conservative movement.
Come January, he’s likely to join an increasingly powerful cadre of ultraconservative Senate Republicans, led by South Carolina’s Jim DeMint and bolstered by freshmen like Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, who are bent on redefining federalism and zapping the government with a shrink ray. They’ll control enough votes to leave a mark on any legislation that passes through the Senate, doing to the upper chamber what Ryan and Eric Cantor did to the lower one: push the body so far right the rest of the caucus will have no choice but to move with it. Put another way: Cruz will aim to make the federal government look a lot more like Texas.

“This is a state that has, more than any other, been the gestational basis for the states versus the feds in the modern era,” says Evan Smith, editor of the Texas Tribune. “This is the state that has some couple dozen lawsuits filed against the federal government. This is the state that has been, more than any other, the Federal Republic of Anti-Obama.” Ted Cruz has been at the heart of all those battles, and now he’s taking the fight to Washington.

It’s a long profile, but it’s definitely worth a read, especially if you’re interested in a surprisingly reasonable take from the Left on a Tea Party candidate.

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