Ted Cruz, the id of the Tea Party, is nobody's dummy, academically speaking. Cruz is a double-Ivy grad, who went to Princeton for his undergraduate degree and law school at the venerable Harvard. When the Daily Beast undertook to discover what Cruz was like at Princeton, it reported:
several fellow classmates who asked that their names not be used described the young Cruz with words like "abrasive," "intense," "strident," "crank," and "arrogant." Four independently offered the word "creepy," with some pointing to Cruz's habit of donning a paisley bathrobe and walking to the opposite end of their dorm's hallway where the female students lived.
So, he had some issues at Princeton -- book smart, but not street smart. Maybe when he entered Harvard Law School (1992-1995), he was a little older, wiser and more polished in his social graces. Perhaps not:
He made a lasting impression as someone both arrogant and pretentious, as well as someone unwilling to yield or compromise.
But he was also universally respected for his intellect, described by friend and foe alike as brilliant but with a hard edge.
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But wait, it gets better; this anecdote is amazing:
As they were entering their second year in law school, Melissa Hart agreed to give Cruz a ride from New York, where Cruz was at the end of the summer, back to Cambridge. She didn't know him well, but he sought her out after she had been given a prestigious award for first-year students.
"We hadn't left Manhattan before he asked my IQ," Hart said. "When I told him I didn't know, he asked, 'Well, what's your SAT score? That's closely coordinated with your IQ.' "
"It went from, 'Nice guy,' " she said, "to 'uh-oh.' "
A former roommate told the magazine GQ recently that Cruz preferred to study only with graduates of Harvard, Princeton, or Yale, dismissing the rest as "the minor Ivies."
It is not difficult to see why many in his own party dislike him (John McCain called him a "wacko bird"). And we have all known a guy like Cruz (they're almost always men for some reason), a person who is simply too smart for his own good, whose social graces border on Aspergers. This is why Cruz can be successful in a deep red state like Texas, but will never be successfully nationally: can you imagine Cruz on the campaign trail in Iowa or New Hampshire? The first time he's challenged by a voter, his arrogant dismissiveness will jump out and the cable news channels will crucify him. In the meantime, he's a blogger's dream.