Ted Cruz is about to launch his Presidential campaign today with a major speech at Liberty University. I plan on watching.
For the record, Ted Cruz is a fabulous public speaker. His movement, stage presence, passion, and fluidity with words are all huge assets. Additionally, Cruz is extraordinarily bright, in terms of raw IQ, according to professors and fellow students at Princeton and Harvard Law School. Cruz also comes from a huge and electorally significant state, Texas, home to other recent presidents, most notably, George W. Bush.
So if you add it all up, Ted Cruz has numerous formidable assets as a presidential contender. Cruz is a top tier presidential candidate for the Republican nomination, at least on paper.
There is only one small problem for his campaign:
Everybody hates Ted Cruz.
That might sound hyperbolic, but not by much. Presumably, Cruz’ wife and children love him, and he got enough votes from Texas to land in the Senate a year and a half ago.
Still…if you Google “Republicans hate Ted Cruz” more than half a million links pop up. And if you Google simply “hate Ted Cruz” you will practically break the Internet.
There simply isn’t any precedent in the last 60 years or so of anyone winning a major party nomination who was hated by large factions of his own party. The people who earn party nominations are, by and large, well liked by members of their own party 1-2 years before election day, and have relatively low disapproval ratings within their own party. You can claim that this is a problem and that each party needs an outsider, yada, yada, yada, but that isn’t the scope of this column.
The danger of asking someone like me, a presentation coach and media trainer, to rate the prospects of politicians is that we tend to see things only through the one lens of our area of expertise, public speaking. And by that measure, Ted Cruz is guaranteed to be the next president of the United States. But as important a skill as public speaking is, it isn’t the only thing that matters. And when it comes to Cruz, the fact that he is universally hated is the more significant factor.
TJ Walker helps Politicians and CEOs give better speeches, but he doesn’t necessarily make them more likeable. you can reach Walker at 212.764.4955, Media Training Worldwide.