VAL 2016 | Ted Cruz har inte gett upp sina drömmar om Vita huset. Men rent röstmässigt kommer han att förbli den ständiga tvåan efter Donald Trump.
Ett tecken på att han försöker ta sin kampanj ända till det republikanska konventet är att han nu är mindre aggressiv och anslår en mildare ton i sina tal.
Han vill på så sätt öka chanserna att kunna fungera som en kompromisskandidat om det blir en strid om delegaterna på kommande partikonvent.
Ett exempel på denna ändrade stil är att han nu t.o.m. börjat citera John F. Kennedy i sina tal. Det hör inte vanligheterna bland konservativa republikaner vars bas är evangeliska kristna. Men det är sådant som brukar kallas signalpolitik.
Frågan är bara om det är speciellt trovärdigt. Cruz har varit en av de ledande figurerna inom Tea Party-rörelsen och är inte speciellt älskad av vare sig partietablissemanget eller bland partikollegor han kritiserat.
Att försöka vinna över de mer moderata konservativa är nödvändigt men kan också komma att skada hans trovärdighet så här sent i valrörelsen.
Michael Scherer skriver om hans nya stil i tidskriften Time:
Good politicians know how to recast their message for the moment. The great ones seem to do it without contradiction, alienation or any actual change in position. This is the leap that Cruz is now attempting. He won the Iowa caucuses with devotion and red meat. His rallies began like prayer circles and continued into fury. He would describe the hatred for him from his own party as “the whole point of the campaign.” He promised not just to repeal Obamacare but to rescind “every word” on Day One. More than unwind the Iran nuclear deal, he vowed to rip it “to shreds.” He would not just destroy Islamic extremism, he would find out if “sand can glow in the dark.”
Those bold positions all remain, but their packaging has been muted. The clenched fists are now open arms. “From the beginning, our objective was to reunite the old Reagan coalition to bring together Republicans and independents and libertarians and Reagan Democrats,” he said. “I believe the path to winning the Republican nomination and winning the general election is standing up for hardworking men and women of America who have been left behind by Washington.” The conservative caterpillar is becoming a general-election butterfly.
This same pivot animates his campaign. After Wisconsin, Cruz planned to work hard to move beyond the white, evangelical, mostly male voters who have always been his core supporters. In his campaign speeches, he has begun to address “single moms” and “working moms” directly, with a message of economic populism to match the appeal of Trump and the Democrats. The day after Wisconsin, he traveled to a meeting with black and Latino pastors in the Bronx, spoke halting Spanish with reporters afterward and repeatedly referred to “our community” when talking about Latinos.
Then there are the gauzy new references in his public remarks. The speech he had prepared for the network cameras the night he won Wisconsin included a quote from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill about ending the quarrel between past and present to focus instead on the future. He would even quote Democratic President John F. Kennedy, who Cruz has long argued, improbably, would be a conservative Republican if he were alive today. “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future,” Cruz said, repeating Kennedy’s words.
But it is another President who he said gave him hope his gambit could succeed. “Throughout the course of this campaign, as others have gotten nasty and gotten personal, have engaged in a war of insults and petty personal attacks, I haven’t responded in kind,” Cruz explained, referencing, among other things, Trump’s recent attack on the appearance of his wife Heidi. “That is very much the model of Ronald Reagan, even when Reagan primaried Gerald Ford in ’76.”
Tidskriftsomslag: Time, 18 april 2016