When CNBC asked Republican candidates to offer their greatest weakness, Sen. Ted Cruz replied, “I’m too agreeable, easy going.” That brought laughter from the audience and the moderators who know Cruz has been an in-your-face advocate for conservative causes in the Senate, even at the cost of shutting down the government.
He would go on to say, “If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy.”
But at a “Candidate Cafe” breakfast hosted by WMUR in New Hampshire yesterday, Cruz showed he may actually be the guy you want to have breakfast with. Asked about his favorite movie, he did a line by line reenactment of a scene from ‘The Princess Bride,’ complete with some respectable voice acting.
When Cruz finished he got a round of applause from the entire table. As his staff said it was time to go he quipped, “My media team is now having a heart attack.” If so, Cruz should find a new media team.
Likability, being the person that regular voters think would make a good neighbor or even a friend, is part of the electoral equation. Heading into the 2004 election, George W. Bush held an 18-percent lead over his rival John Kerry on the question of who was a “real person.”
And 57% of undecided voters said they’d like to have a beer with Bush (even though he didn’t drink).
As he said himself at the CNBC debate, Cruz has an image as a focused, uncompromising individual. He doesn’t often seem like the person you would want to grab a beer with. What he showed in New Hampshire yesterday was that there is another side of his personality, a friendly, “real person” side that is pretty appealing.
Judging from the reaction at that breakfast table, it’s probably not a bad idea for him to let voters know there’s more to him than they might have seen so far.