What Went Wrong For Cruz. Part II: Persona.
Continuing the short series of posts about what went wrong for Cruz (the first part is here) I would like to tackle a second issue: Cruz’ public persona.
The man is the most similar thing to Reagan appeared on the scene for a long time, but God knows he is not the Gipper.
Where Reagan was charming, personable, and always likable, Cruz comes across as rigid, cold, and rather unpleasant. Where Reagan had a warm, winning voice accompanied by a smile, Cruz has a cold, somewhat shrill, metallic voice wrapped in the attitude of a rigid, old style preacher. I am sure it works well in the religious congregations Cruz was accustomed to since an early age; but it does not help you at all to become President.
A candidate is more than ideas. A candidate is also an emotion, the way you feel when you see him on TV or hear his voice on the radio. This is particularly true in a world in which women have the vote, but it also has a universal validity that transcends the sexes.
Trump understands this perfectly, and uses this knowledge masterly. He projects an image of manliness and a winning attitude, but at the same time has an approachable, “man of the people” stance he carefully nurtures. He is – and this truly says it all – a Billionaire liked by Walmart employees and factory workers.
Watch and learn, Mr Cruz. Watch and learn!
Trump plays to his strengths, and he does so to the full. Cruz seems to rely on the fact that he has the right ideas. Not enough I am afraid.
Trump is on TV constantly surrounded by beautiful women – who are there, let us look at reality in the face, to show the beauty wealth both attracts and gives birth to -.
You can say it’s not Cruz’ fault his wife isn’t anywhere near a stunner. However, I suspect Cruz would be afraid to enroll the stunner wife even if he had her. I suspect he would rather expect you to listen to his sermon, and be persuaded by it. Trump uses all the cards he has. Cruz thinks he is right, and that’s enough.
Trump is clearly the leader of his wife. Cruz has a tiger executive wife stating she would work with him as a “partner”. Only, she is not elected. One wonders. And don’t ask me who is the manlier of the two, because you know the answer. From their wives you will recognise them.
And I will give you that Cruz is far more eloquent, and very possibly more intelligent, than Trump; but he squanders that too, with his long sermons, his metallic voice, and his rigid attitude.
Does Cruz play to his strengths? Does he work on his weaknesses? I have not seen much of it. How many have become President in the age of television, who had not bothered to learn to smile in a proper, sincere way? A winning smile will get you a lot of mileage whatever your shortcomings. Ask Bill Clinton.
Trump played on his strengths, ruthlessly, all the time. Cruz never seemed to me to work on his obvious weaknesses. Trump even “flipped the script” and used all those elements of his persona Cruz would have been too politically correct, or not enough man, to use. Trump is a billionaire and not only he does not apologise for it, but he makes it work for him. He marries (and is father to) stunners, but he does not hide them for fear of incurring the ire of obese feminists; on the contrary, he projects with them an aura of beauty and, ultimately, manliness, success, and power.
Don’t tell me it does not work, because you have just seen how the race ended. Don’t tell me Trump’s manly attitude will “alienate women”, because this is the usual pussycat crap only pussycat men are willing to swallow. Women like manly men. Listen to this Italian male, and believe.
Men, by the way, like manly men, too; and too many of them have now had enough of limp-wristed Presidents who want to be “partners” of their wife. You can’t be the most powerful man of the Free World, and have your unelected wife as your “partner”. A man who can’t lead his wife wants to lead the free world?
Cruz did not work enough on what, in him, does not work. If he made an effort to minimise his weaknesses I have seen nothing of it. Not only he is no Gipper, but he does not seem to make an effort to become as much of one as he can.
Watch Trump, Mr Cruz, and learn.