In his brief time in the United States Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is already making a name for himself on Capitol Hill, with the February 15 edition of Politico suggesting that his “no-compromise, firebrand style could turn off voters.”
In the 36-paragraph article, Politico’s Manu Raju waited until the 18th paragraph to include any direct quotes from the freshman Tea Party senator. What's more, Raju peppered the piece with numerous anecdotes meant to cast Cruz's assertive style in a negative light:
Behind closed doors, some Republican senators report that Cruz, in his stone-cold serious prosecutorial style, speaks at length when it’s far more common for freshman to wait before asserting themselves, particularly ones who were just sworn in.
The article went on to use less than flattering language to describe Cruz, saying he was:
Quick to annoy one of the most powerful Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, after he engaged in a combative line of questioning with the New Yorker on a recent Sunday talk show, even though senators from opposing parties are typically far more collegial in those settings.
Of course, Cruz didn't run for Senate promising to make nice with liberal Democrats. Indeed, as Raju admitted, Cruz himself points out that he would, “come to Washington to shake up the status quo, to fight for conservative principles.”
So Cruz is making good on a campaign promise to the voters who overwhelmingly elected him, yet Politico insists on taking him to task for not being a genteel, meek senator concerned with being a conventional, quiet freshman. For taking his committee assignments seriously and posing tough questions to presidential nominees, Raju complained that Cruz adopted an “attack-dog posture" with "sharp questioning of witnesses at Senate hearings."
It took 15 paragraphs before Politico quoted any positive views of Cruz, which were buried towards the end of the article. And, you knew this was bound to happen, Politico chose to include numerous anecdotes of anonymous Republicans who have reservations about Cruz’s future:
It’s becoming a trend when you’re a new arrival. They don’t get to know the Senate or the other senators; they just start talking. And that takes away from [Cruz’s] ability to be an influential legislator.
Yeah, if you believe Politico and these anonymous Republicans are concerned about Cruz having a record of success in Congress, I've got a bridge to sell you.