Ted Cruz in: The Endorsements

Ted Cruz

The reader is directed to this correction in the National Review:

An earlier post stated that Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign was set to unveil a series of endorsements from Cruz’s fellow senators. The report was erroneous. As of this writing, the campaign has no pending Senate endorsements to announce.

Ted Cruz’s alarm went off at 5am. He hit the snooze, rolled over, and spoke extemporaneously on the subject of religious liberty until the alarm went off again. Then he got out of bed. He took off his nighttime suit and skipped merrily to the shower. It was Endorsement Day.

After he had showered and put on a day suit, he went downstairs to feed his dog. “Do your trick,” he said. Liberty barked at him. “You want your food first?” he said, pouring a bowl of kibble. “Okay, but then you do your trick.” He reached down to pet Liberty as he lunged for the food, but the dog growled at him. “Okay, buddy,” Ted Cruz said, smiling and frowning at the same time.

As he pulled on his galoshes and buttoned up his overcoat, he pictured all the senators who would endorse him that day. He told himself not to think about it. But even as he did, he imagined McConnell, of all people, shaking his hand and saying he was the best choice to lead the United States. His clammy hand with the thin bones inside, like a mostly finished package of spaghetti—Ted Cruz put it out of his mind. The endorsements would come soon enough. The only thing left was to be patient.

He checked the mirror, just in case. He still looked like Jose Canseco’s headshot printed on a bagel. Ted Cruz straightened his tie and went out to the car.

“Good morning, Mr. Cruz,” his driver said.

“It is a good morning, Manny,” Ted Cruz said. “It’s a good morning in America.”

Manny smiled politely. He was Ted Cruz’s favorite driver—hard to read at first, but after a while you realized he really liked you. One time, they drove to Einstein Brothers and had coffee in the car.

“To the Senate, Manny,” Ted Cruz said. “I’ve got endorsements to accept.”

But when Ted Cruz got to his office, no one was there. Even the aides were gone—there weren’t enough people for a game of truth or dare,1 much less a dozen senators there to endorse him. There was nobody. Ted Cruz stood in his empty office, stunned. Finally, a page came in.

“Senator Cruz?” he said. It was McConnell’s page—what was his name? Ted! Of course. It was silly to forget, but people never looked like Teds to him. A good boy, although Ted Cruz once saw him at a happy hour with his shirt untucked. Nobody likes that. “We’ve, uh, Senator McConnell told me to tell you we’ve moved the endorsement event. If you’ll just follow me, sir.”

Ted the page and Ted Cruz rode down to the senate basement in the elevator. Isn’t it funny how people in elevators always face straight ahead and don’t speak? Ted Cruz thought. He wondered whether he should start writing these observations down or just memorize them.

The elevator doors opened. Ted the page took off like a shot, his dress shoes clopping as he sprinted down the hallway and rounded the corner at the opposite end.

“That’s odd,” Ted Cruz said to himself, aloud, sincerely.

He followed the receding echo of Ted the page’s footsteps down the hall, until he came to a sign that said Ted Cruz endorsement event. There was an arrow on it. The arrow pointed left, so Ted Cruz went left. He came to another sign that said Ted Cruz endorsement inside. The sign was on a door, so Ted Cruz opened the door. Inside was a sheet cake deep into the process of being eaten by Louie Gohmert.

“Hello, Ted,” Gohmert said, cake falling from his mouth as he offered his hand. Cake fell from that, too.

“What are you doing here?” Ted Cruz said. “Where are my endorsements?”

Gohmert’s phone rang. It was Reince Priebus. Ted Cruz just knew. He had always known who was calling whenever the phone rang, since he was a boy. The first few times it happened he was scared, and then he wanted to tell someone about it, but he decided not to. It was like a secret between him and God. Then someone invented caller ID.

“I gotta take this,” Gohmert said, covering the mouthpiece with his hand. “It’s my mother.”

He pinched the phone between his head and shoulder and wiped his hands on his suit as he hurried out. Ted Cruz listened to his hushed voice fade away down the hall. He looked down at the cake, half eaten and scooped apart by Gohmert’s eager little hands. The frosting spelled out half a message:



Ted Cruz was alone.

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