In response to The Ted Cruz Persona:
Excellent analysis, Joel. While Cruz’s appearance managed to squeeze in the facts surrounding ObamaCare (“#1 jobkiller) and the reality of the shutdown (no, Jay, it wasn’t Republicans’ choice!), I still found it rather lackluster. As you noted, Cruz’s demeanor seemed shut off to the audience. There were no jokes, no personal anecdotes (though, then again, part of this is Jay’s fault in the line of questioning he chose to pursue).
This is late-night television — not C-SPAN.
As you said, Cruz’s ‘guard’ is somewhat of an advantage, though, and sure, and I am not suggesting he needs to show up on SNL’s Weekend Report sketch or in a cameo on Jimmy Fallon ala Chris Christie — but loosening up (and opening up) a bit would go a long way. After all, the MSM will nitpick and attack him on the personal angle anyway (look at the constant ‘dirt’ they invent re: the HLS years) so how much is there to lose, really?