Notes from Senator Cruz’s Office: Thinking the Unthinkable

From:,  by Roger L. Simon,  on Oct 8, 2015,  see the article HERE.


“Maybe World War III has started already,” said Paul Teller, Ted Cruz’s chief of staff.  We were sitting in the senator’s office under the ten foot wide modernist portrait of Reagan at the Berlin Wall that dominates the room.  ”We always thought it would be nuclear weapons but…”  He shrugged, a quizzical look on his face, as if he himself were surprised at what he had just said.  But I knew where he was coming from.  Who wouldn’t?  The Middle East was in flames, the whole complexion of Europe changing, and America had turned tail.  And we didn’t even know at that point, it was Wednesday afternoon around five, that Russia was flying cruise missiles into Syria.

I glanced over at Nick Muzin, Cruz’s deputy chief, and he didn’t seem to disagree either.  Muzin is a MD/JD and Teller a Ph.D. in government. The senator clearly surrounded himself with smart guys.  It spoke well of him.

And it wasn’t just guys. The day before, I had been sitting in the same spot with Victoria Coates (Cruz’s foreign policy adviser), Rachael Slobodien (his communications director) and Cruz himself, talking about many things, but mostly foreign policy because I was there on the good offices of Dr. Coates.  She is an art historian, no less, with a Ph. D. in art history from UPenn and a book coming out momentarily called David’s Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art. These include the Parthenon, Michelangelo’s David and Picasso’s Guernica.  It’s Coates’ contention that the contribution of such works to the spread of democracy has been undervalued.  And now the art historian was a key foreign policy adviser to a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

The case for such a person as foreign policy adviser was not as exotic as it sounded.  After all, the best art historians are experts in culture, foreign languages and, of course, history.  From the way they interacted it was clear she and the senator had a strong professional relationship, which apparently has gone back a number of years, their families friends.

But my focus was on Cruz himself. Conventional wisdom is that as the Republican field narrows down, he will be right there with the finalists — and for good reason.  The Texas senator is famously and deservedly the most articulate spokesman for conservatism. And, as is well known, he is also a fighter.

On that Tuesday, Cruz emphasized to me how much he felt 2016 was a turning point in American history just as was 1980 when Ronald Reagan became president.  It wasn’t just that he was positioning himself as a second Reagan — sure, why not? — it was more the historical forces in the air, the same forces I was discussing the next day with Teller and Muzin.  America had retreated and the world was in chaos.

Cruz expressed how anxious he was to stand on a  debate stage opposite Hillary Clinton, to confront her on the Iran deal. Cruz has been among the most forceful members of Congress, if not the most forceful, in opposition to the deal. But although obviously a hundred percent for American reengagement, he placed himself on a foreign policy spectrum somewhere between Rand Paul’s isolationism and what he described as Marco Rubio’s neocon interventionism. Was this campaign positioning?  I’m not sure.  I’m not certain how much difference in reality there would be between Cruz and Rubio on foreign affairs when in office. Events themselves may be  determinative.

When you’re fortunate enough to be sitting there as long as I was chatting with someone who could be the next president of the United States, inevitably you’re spending much of your mental energy taking the measure of the man personally.  His policy positions we have all heard — or most of them. And doubtless will again.  On a face-to-face level I found Cruz to be warm and personable, more so than he sometimes comes across on television.  He is also obviously among the top five percent (or higher) of politicians when it comes to intellectual heft.  This guy gets the issues — and quickly.  He’s done his homework. His staff tells me he challenges them constantly on his positions, anxious to hear the other side.

I also, as I have noted, was impressed with his team.  And in Reagan’s, I would almost say inarguable, words, “Personnel is policy.”

Toward the end of our discussions, I probed Cruz a bit about the other talent in the room, meaning the other top-tier Republican candidates.  Would he run with them?  He didn’t get specific.  It was premature.  But he did say explicitly that he thought a good portion of a potential cabinet might be standing on stage with him at the debates.  We may be seeing very interesting, and perhaps surprising,  combinations of the top six down the line.


My main reason for posting this particular article was to illustrate the type of people that Cruz has at the top levels of his campaign. I haven’t seen much written about his staff since he’s started running. Unlike Obama, Cruz challenges his staff to find fault with his positions so that he can appreciate what the “other side” is and test the veracity of his positions. He is obviously one of the smartest individuals running for the Republican nomination – and the presidency, and the history of his statements and actions since being elected as Texas’ junior Senator has been consistently conservative. He is my personal choice to be our next president and I pray that he’ll be successful.




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9 Responses to Notes from Senator Cruz’s Office: Thinking the Unthinkable

  1. Foreston says:

    Agree he is brilliant and the only one, I believe, to have served in the legislative and judiciary branches. He is fearless but measured and very insightful. Would make a fine president for a time when the world needs a strong leader!

    • Garnet92 says:

      Totally agree Foreston, and thanks for your comment! You’ve identified two of the reasons that I think that he is the man we need at this time in our history, “measured” and “insightful.” Good insight on your part.

  2. Kathy says:

    it’s exactly what you’d expect from Cruz and explains why he’s the perfect candidate for the job. He has the political savvy and the American family values that have been sorely missing these past years.

    If the task of running this country weren’t daunting enough, his job will be even harder due to the massive garbage O’s left for him to clean up, but Cruz can do it.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Right Kathy, Obumbler is really leaving a mess for the next president. It’s going to take some time to recover from his MANY screw-ups. I don’t believe that most of the other candidates are up to the task, but Cruz is.

  3. Buck says:

    And why wouldn’t we be entering WWIII? The parallels between the non action at the muslim world’s aggressiveness and the non action of the world at Hitler’s aggressions is strikingly similar so why would anyone think there would be a different outcome this time around?

    • Garnet92 says:

      It’ll take some passage of time to determine if we are in the preface to WWIII, but as you say, all the signs are there. And the facilitator is/has been Barack Obama. His legacy won’t be pretty and damn sure won’t be what he wants.

  4. tannngl says:

    Smart? You bet! Ted’s cruzing along behind Carson and Trump, sometimes Rubio. He’s satisfied to get his ducks in a row in every state in the union. The work going on behind the scenes is perfection. From donations, to statewide organizers and local organizers to his use of all the social media, the #CruzCrew is an unstoppable force moving across this land.

    He’s got the highest number of people making monthly donations. The $$ is there for his campaign and it keeps coming in. The campaign made their goal this quarter again.

    You gotta pay attention to this guy!

    Thanks, Garnet. Nice to get to know his campaign crew.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Thanks tannngl, I was glad to see a little information (still only a minimum) about some of his advisers. I did like to hear that he wants them to challenge his ideas, that shows someone who doesn’t believe that he’s the only person with good ideas and who is willing to listen to others.

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