Ted Cruz: 2016 Dark Horse?

After every election, the losing side begins rampant speculation as to who could be the next superstar of their party. Every election cycle, pundits guess, Americans guess, politicians guess, and numerous names are thrown in the ring. What quite often happens when the time comes is that every speculative candidate begins to fall away, and someone unexpected emerges from the pack.

In the midst of recovering from our crushing defeat, many names have been thrown out. Rising powers like Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley and others have been mentioned as strong, legitimately conservative stars who can articulate our message clearly and positively. But there is one name that has had little serious mention: Ted Cruz.

At a conservative event on Thursday night, Ted Cruz gave a speech that not only shone a laser on the failures of this last election cycle, but inspired ideas of a 2016 presidential run. The following are quotes from his speech:

“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument. We didn’t even make the argument.”

“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder.”

“In the narrative we made to this country, the Democrat notion that there is a fixed and static pie. … The rich are the rich, the poor are the poor, and all that matters is redistributing from one to the other. The essence of the conservative message should be we want a dynamic nation where anybody with nothing can achieve anything.”

In addition to this, Cruz slammed the “War on Women” concept; hammered George Stephanopoulos; talked about guns; and did it all without notes or a TelePrompter. His ability to articulate a conservative message and his ease on stage have now stoked speculation that Cruz could be the Dark Horse for 2016.

Is Cruz simply the next potential “star,” or could he be the real thing? Only time and vetting will tell. What do you think?