Sen. Ted Cruz, Tea Party hero and university thespian, showcased his acting ability last week with a dramatic impersonation of Winston Churchill. Cruz was the keynote speaker at The Claremont Institute's dinner in honor of Churchill when he shouted the former prime minister's famous line, "We shall never surrender!" We would argue that his British accent needs work, but the conviction is there.
Cruz, of course, is no stranger to theatrics. He's well known for his successful (for him) 21-hour filibuster that led to last year's government shutdown, especially his rendition of children's book Green Eggs and Ham. But before that, Cruz was a member of the Harvard Law School's Drama Society, where he played Rev. Samuel Parris in The Crucible. In a scene that would foreshadow his time in office, Cruz says "Do you understand that I have many enemies? There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit." After a night of drinking he was unfortunately a little too hungover to perform the next night.
He's also no stranger to Churchill. Gearing up to his filibuster, Cruz said “we will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the streets," against Obamacare.
Cruz's flair for the dramatic is part of his appeal. While the senator's filibuster was mocked by people on both sides of the aisle, conservatives noted that his very public stance against Obamacare was "a clear-cut line in the sand, the kind of clarity that right-wingers crave," wrote The Washington Spectator. And Time noted that his audience wasn't politicos, but "evangelical groups in Iowa, New Hampshire libertarians, South Carolina county chairmen, and the thousands of other activists whose ardor can lift a presidential campaign." Cruz is hamming it up for them and they apparently like it, since there's still a vague sense he might run for president. As his speechwriter Amanda Carpenter tweeted:
As Cruz has said many times, "Good impressions are good, but bad impressions always get a laugh."— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) March 24, 2014
Sounds about right.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.