Ted Cruz’s Defining Moment In Politics

Next week could be a defining moment for Sen. Ted Cruz.
The presidential contender’s quest to defund ObamaCare has made him more popular with the base than ever, but that acclaim could fade if he is perceived as retreating from battle — or if the strategy he’s advocated backfires on the GOP.

Strategists said the senator's crusade against ObamaCare will almost certainly be an asset in Republican primaries should he run for president in 2016, though it could also come back to haunt him if he alienates the party establishment.

“The stances he's taking are going to play well in the early primary states,” said Ford O'Connell, a GOP strategist who worked for the McCain-Palin presidential ticket.

O'Connell also predicted the congressional defunding gambit will fail, and repeatedly compared it to Pickett's Charge, one of the bloodiest failed assaults of the Civil War. 

"The lesson here is, don't listen to someone whose sole interest is winning the 2016 GOP presidential primary," O'Connell said. 

Read more from Erik Wasson and Elise Viebeck at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy