With Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa to test the 2016 presidential waters, the Texan enters the Republican presidential field with a clear advantage: His Senate seat isn't up for re-election until 2018.
That provides Cruz with an easy opportunity to elevate his national profile, develop a national fundraising network — grassroots and otherwise — and gain experience for another run if he is unsuccessful in 2016. Not having to risk his safe, influential perch on Capitol Hill an uncertain presidential bid could give Cruz an edge long-term, as Republican voters have a periodic habit of nominating presidential candidates on their second go-around, including President Ronald Reagan, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Mitt Romney.
Earlier this month, the Washington Examiner sat down with Cruz in Houston for an interview in which the 42-year-old was asked about his intentions for 2016. He said nothing that would discourage speculation about him as a presidential contender, and further encouraged such talk with his trip to the Hawkeye State this weekend.
Examiner: Is it unfair to consider you a potential 2016 presidential candidate?
Cruz: What I can tell you is, 100 percent of my focus is on the U.S. Senate. The Senate's the battlefield right now. This is where these principles are being fought over and what I am working every day to do is to try to help lead the effort. No. 1, to restore economic growth; my top priority in office is restoring growth and, No. 2, to defend the Constitution. I think we have seen in recent years an onslaught on the Constitution unlike anything in modern times.
In our office, I frequently tell the team: Good policy is good politics, let's focus on doing the right thing, over and over and over again, and the politics will take care of itself.