GQ has a neat little habit of disarming its conservative subjects just long enough to get them to say something revealing—see Marco Rubio’s “Thinking about how old the earth is harshes my mellow” bit that will tap him on the shoulder should he ever win a GOP nomination. And Ted Cruz profiles have a tendency to reveal the weird, as we all learned when the Daily Beast told of his wandering around Princeton in a paisley bathrobe.
- First a moment of praise: Cruz has “argument boots,” a pair of ostrich boots he’s worn every time he’s argued a case, save for appearances before Chief Justice William Rehnquist. After Rehnquist passed, Cruz received permission from new Chief Justice John Roberts to wear the boots while arguing before the Supreme Court. This is all laudatory.
- In his office hangs a massive oil painting of Cruz during his first oral argument before the Supreme Court, a case he lost. As profiler Jason Zengerle points out, the painting features three courtroom artists drawing the same scene, so it actually has four images of Cruz. He says it’s to keep him “grounded,” which is totally what life-sized oil paintings of yourself are for.
- He memorized a mnemonic version of the Constitution, and performed it at Texas civic clubs along with friends as the “Constitutional Corroborators.”
- Cruz and former Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee used to be debate rivals. Given that Goolsbee can extemporize on the economic policy implications of Truckasaurus, those debates must have been something.
- Ridiculous, obscene elitist alert: “As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: ‘He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.'” Typical Ivy League liberal.
- As a legal scholar for the second Bush, he liked to send out summaries of his accomplishments, which one coworker compared to “the cards people send about their families at Christmas, except Ted’s were only about him and were more frequent.”
- People love to compare him to birds. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) famously labeled him a “wacko bird,” which Zengerle corrects to a peacock. Later, Jim Kessler calls him “rooster taking credit for the sunrise.”
- Speaking of wacko birds, Cruz had the phrase stitched onto a Daffy Duck baseball cap that he now keeps in his Senate office. Point: Cruz.
- John Cornyn, the senior Senator from Texas, awaits his every move. “He has Cornyn just frozen on everything,” a senior GOP aide told Zengerle. “A member of our leadership just kind of takes his marching orders from this guy who’s been here for a day!”
Sure enough, this came later on Monday:
- Even his fans can’t seem to name a single legislative accomplishment of his, or praise any particular action he’s taken. Lines like “he’s smart enough to know is an entirely cynical thing to do,” and “he’s smart enough to know better” pop up several times in the profile, all from people sympathetic to Cruz.
- Oh, and John McCain “f***ing hates him.” But you already knew that.
* It does too exist.
[Image via Shark-Tank]
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