The new April edition of TIME magazine features a close-up of Ted Cruz's face with the caption "Can America Learn to Love Ted Cruz?" It also uses what is possibly the creepiest photo ever taken of Cruz. "He has a plan to take the GOP nomination from Donald Trump. But first he must heal old wounds," reads the tagline of the story, by journalist Michael Scherer. Though TIME has published articles about Cruz's campaign in the past, this officially marks his first cover feature with the publication.
After posting the article to its online platform, TIME playfully admitted that the satirical newspaper The Onion had predicted Cruz's feature when the senator announced his bid for presidency in March 2015. Fictional TIME subscriber Susan Bartlett told the publication:
I don’t know whether it will be next week or 10 months from now, but I know that sooner or later I’ll open the mailbox and find that face staring at me ...
That day will become a reality on April 18, when TIME subscribers everywhere will open their mailbox and find Cruz's side-eyes peering out at them. His cover image is superimposed with a question his fellow legislators have prompted for years on the Senate floor: "Likable Enough?" Scherer wasn't afraid to acknowledge Cruz as the "most hated Senator in Washington" by the third paragraph.
He went on to remind his readers of the time former House Speaker John Boehner called Cruz a "jackass" and when John McCain referred to the candidate as a "wacko bird." It's safe to assume that neither "nicknames" were used endearingly. Cruz might not be likable — and there are a lot of remarks from politicians that prove it — but he's taking the GOP primary election by storm nonetheless. Sometimes the unpopular kid in high school goes on to do great things. In this case, Cruz has a legitimate chance at bringing down the macho-man bully otherwise known as Trump.
During CNN's GOP debate in Houston, frontrunner and real-estate mogul Donald Trump questioned Cruz's character in a predictably more vicious, less eloquent manner than legislators have in the past:
I got along with everybody. You get along with nobody. You don't have one Republican senator ... backing you, not one. You don't have the endorsement of one ... You should be ashamed of yourself.
Cruz defended himself by claiming that his refusal to cut deals in Washington or back down on his beliefs has created enemies. And in his defense, a person isn't wrong for having an unpopular opinion. In fact, the popular opinion pushed in Washington is vulnerable to special interests and campaign dollars. But if that's the case, then why has Cruz begun painting a portrait of himself as the Republican establishment's crusader? He's going to have to reconcile his differences with them before he takes on Trump with full force.
In his article, Scherer makes a regal attempt to decipher Cruz's dynamic platform, which flips-flops between establishment and anti-establishment tenets. The politician's style changes with the tides, but his ideas ultimately remain consistent. As the campaign drags on, though, he's running out of time to "heal old wounds" with the party he claims to represent. Unfortunately for Cruz, old grudges die hard.
Image: TIME (1)