One of the more amusing vagaries of the theater inspired by campaign finance laws since the Citizens United case opened the sluices for corporate-giving is the little dance candidates must do with their Super PACs. Formal campaigns can't officially coordinate with Super PACs, but, because Super PACs can accept unlimited donations, they're more important than the actual, official campaigns. The lack of official coordination has led to some easy, if graceless, workarounds, which probably explains the odd behavior of Ted Cruz's campaign apparatus this month.
On Tuesday, Cruz's old senate campaign YouTube page sprung to life with hours and hours of Cruz interviews, commercials and b-roll. There are interviews with practically every member of Cruz's family, some light Reagan hagiographizing and some heavy Obama demonizing. There's not anything new, except a bunch of material that will come in handy if, you know, an organization needed to make a commercial for a candidate without having access to the candidate. One of Cruz's primary Super PACs, the somewhat obliquely named Keep the Promise, got in on the action as well, releasing a 51-page PowerPoint presentation chock-full of messaging and campaign rhetoric that sounds a lot like what Cruz has been saying as he tours early primary states. The presentation, first unearthed on the Super PAC's website by CNN, suggests that Cruz's path to victory runs through stressing his "very conservative" bona fides and exploiting social issues — it's a shock, we know. Keep the Promise's plan is rough on GOP moderates, 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney specifically, and stresses that only an uber-conservative can win. Cruz's best shot, his Super Pac says, is to lean heavily on primary states that have rabidly conservative GOP electorates, such as Iowa, South Carolina and Texas — the biggest electoral prize on March 1 Super Tuesday. The official title of the presentation is "Can He Win?," which we can only hope is a rhetorical question.
Cruz's campaign proper had raised more that $14.3 million according to its most recent financial report. Keep the Promise has raised $38 million.
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