The price of poker just went up — both for Ted Cruz and the field.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first Republican to formally declare for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, and the spectacle projected with a packed crowd at perhaps the nation’s leading evangelical university will raise the stakes on the future announcements to come. Cruz was surrounded by thousands of mostly young people at Liberty University, the influential college founded by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. One of the most important evangelical leaders of his era, who was also instrumental in helping to launch the Reagan Revolution.
For a campaign that wants to make the case it can be the one to build the necessary bridge between disparate factions of the conservative movement, announcing at a school with “liberty” as it namesake, also is a bastion of Christian conservative thought and activism, and is in perhaps the most crucial presidential election swing state — this was messaging jackpot.
The speech itself went over well, but for those that have heard Cruz speak previously it was sort of a compilation of his greatest hits on the stump. It was also a compilation of pretty much everything the average conservative activist thinks and believes to one degree or another. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, because unlike other candidates trying to appeal to the conservative base the Cruz phenomenon itself is the conservative base.
When competing in a crowded field of talented alpha-males, it is best to either go right away and make a big first impression, or wait to build anticipation for the last at-bat. There is no doubt other campaigns will be re-assessing their announcement plans after what transpired at Liberty University today. Your standard speech at your local state capitol surrounded by loyalists won’t cut it after these theatrics. Team Cruz made themselves “topic A” during a busy Monday news cycle, and instantly showed they’re in it to go big or go home.
However, not only are expectations now raised for the candidates that come after Cruz, but for Cruz himself.
Steve Deace “is a rising star” that represents “the next generation” in conservative media.
Steve Deace was influential in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses and has been prominently featured on national media outlets.
His nationally-syndicated “Steve Deace Show” is heard in five of the top 10 markets in the country. Deace’s newly released book is titled: Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.
Steve Deace has been a contributor for USA Today, Politico, Business Insider, Breitbart, WND, Townhall, and The Washington Times. He’s been a guest pundit on all three major cable news networks as well.
Steve Deace lives in Iowa which provides him with a grassroots conservative perspective often lacking in a beltway media culture.