On Tuesday, as President Trump signed a bill giving NASA the necessary funds to send people to Mars, Sen. Ted Cruz was spotted having a wistful moment in the Oval Office. In a photo taken of the moment, Cruz is seen lightly touching the president's desk with a face looking like he's once again remembering the deaths of his hopes and dreams.
Freddie Campion of NBC News aptly described the scene as such: "Ted Cruz wistfully touches the president's desk like a lovesick teenager sneaking an unnoticed whiff of his crush's hair."
The road's been rough for Cruz for nearly a year now after his decision to drop out of the presidential race last May — actually, it was rough even when he was still in the running — and this is just the latest demonstration of the sadness he probably faces on a daily basis. At least this isn't nearly as humiliating as the viral memes showing him making fundraising calls for the Trump campaign in October. And at least the Ted-Cruz-is-the-Zodiac-Killer conspiracy theory has died down a bit. And at least people aren't spreading the GIF of his creepy handshake with Carly Fiorina as much anymore. And John Boehner isn't talking about how Cruz is "Lucifer in the flesh" and a "miserable son of a b---h" these days.
Yes, it's been a rough road indeed.
Ted Cruz wistfully touches the president's desk like a lovesick teenager sneaking an unnoticed whiff of his crush's hair pic.twitter.com/0kCG7WuwF3— Freddie Campion (@FreddieCampion) March 21, 2017
Nowadays, Cruz spends most of his days working as a Trump surrogate. He's also been working hard to get back in the good graces of his Republican colleagues, many of whom he alienated during his 2016 campaign. He seems to be having some success — in January, Sen. Lindsey Graham publicly apologized for a particularly mean comment he'd made about Cruz nearly one year earlier. “I want to apologize to Ted for saying he should be killed on the Senate floor,” said Graham during a televised interview. “I’m sorry, Ted.”
Specifically, Graham had claimed that Cruz was so unpopular that his murder by other senators would go unpunished. "If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you," he said.
So the past two years have definitely not been great for Cruz, but hey, he's not the least popular person in his party anymore. Perhaps what Cruz is contemplating in this photo is whether he'd be willing to go reclaim his "Lucifer in the Flesh" title in exchange for the presidential desk. With Trump sitting just inches away, it was the perfect opportunity for him to consider whether being widely despised would be worth the job.