Full disclosure- I really like Scott Walker. Any Republican who can win 3 elections in a Blue State in 4 years, and govern exactly as he campaigned…. that is hard to overlook.

The Iowa Caucus’ are 11 months away, and as of today, we have 1 official candidate.

An Ivy League Graduate- at the top of his class, A Solid conservative, who stands up for principal, even when his party disagrees with him; successful lawyer; a very good public speaker, a world-class debater; a Hispanic, who has been named as one of the 50 most influential Minority lawyers in America. On paper, looks pretty impressive. So what is the issue?

John McCain once referred to Ted Cruz as a Wacko-bird a couple of years ago, and over the weekend said on CNN that Lindsey Graham is his first choice for the 2016 Nomination. Rand Paul jabbed at Cruz’s “winnability” The New Republic mocked Cruz, “Ted Cruz Cannot be Serious”

I get it. A lot of people don’t like Ted Cruz, but one only has to look at the last 40 years of elections to see that writing off Cruz is premature.

In 1976, President Ford gave a news conference on several issues- one of which was the upcoming Presidential Primary season. It is Ford’s comment about his Primary opponent that intrigues me the most.

A reporter’s question: “Do you believe that Reagan is so far to the right that he cannot win a national election? And, if you do believe that, I would like to know what you base your opinion on, especially in light of the fact that he was twice elected Governor of the most populous State in the country by large margins?’ President Ford pointed out his differences between himself and Former Governor Reagan, on issues of social security, on cutting federal spending and shifting those responsibilities to the states, and in closing out that line of questioning, emphasized,

“I believe that anybody to the right of me, Democratic or Republican, can’t win a national election. “

Flash forward to 1980. In March, a Los Angeles Times poll found “Carter could beat Reagan more easily than he could beat Bush or Baker. A moderate Republican would appeal to moderate Democrats.” Elections analyst Richard Scammon was quoted as saying, “The odds are very good that Reagan will not be successful in November”

Some experts were even calling for Former President Ford to get into the race, because he was the best chance to defeat Governor Carter. Turns out they were wrong about Reagan and his national appeal.

The reality that these “experts” fail to see: Conservatism does not equal defeat.

1992: President George H.W. Bush ran as a moderate and lost. 1996: Senator Dole ran as a moderate, and lost. 2000: George W Bush ran as a conservative. He won. (Although he didn’t govern as conservative.) 2008: Senator McCain ran as a moderate, and lost. 2012: Romney is nominated, over a more conservative Rick Santorum, and lost.

A pattern perhaps?

Over the last several days, political pundits have been wetting their pants with excitement over Ted Cruz getting into the race. Everyone wants to dissect his opinions, bring up “likeability” issues, and generally put the Senator under the microscope. When one looks at his resume though, you can’t help but be impressed.

Clerk on US Court of Appeals, and for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. (The first Hispanic to do so). Domestic policy advisor for GW Bush’s Presidential campaign. Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Justice Department. Texas Solicitor General. United States Senator.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to be a cheerleader for this guy, but if we are going to be intellectually honest with ourselves it is foolish to dismiss him outright.

Will Cruz win the GOP nomination? Perhaps not.   Will Cruz ever be president? Perhaps not.

However, it is a mistake to overlook the smartest guy in the room. He has nearly a year to sell himself.   I plan on listening.