July 20, 2016

GET READY FOR TED: Cruz Prepares for High-Stakes Convention Speech with Eye on 2020.

The Texas senator has largely kept a low profile since exiting the presidential race in May, but he will be front and center on Wednesday. His speech will serve both as a formal reintroduction to millions of party faithful, the majority of whom did not support Trump in the primaries, and as the first public step in another presidential campaign. So while Trump uses Cruz’s appearance to project a semblance of party unity, the Texas senator will do his part to underscore the deep divisions in the GOP on the eve of Trump’s coronation — and to suggest tacitly that he, not Trump, is the face of the party’s future.

Going into [Wednesday] night’s speech, Cruz undoubtedly has Ronald Reagan’s 1976 convention speech in mind. Though Reagan narrowly lost the nomination to Gerald Ford that year, his speech succeeded in convincing the delegates gathered in Kansas City that they had chosen the wrong man. (Paul Manafort, now Trump’s campaign chairman, was at the time a young operative instrumental in wrangling delegates on Ford’s behalf.)

Even if Trump wins this year — unlike Ford in ’76 — he’ll be 74 in 2020.

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