Mar 31, 201611:31 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
The ladies take up the Cruz cause in Madison
(page 1 of 2)
Your anti-social, would-be outlaw biker Squire has attended a few political events in his time but Wednesday’s Ted Cruz event at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison was unique.
Yes, CW music piped in. Check, event starts late. But remarkably short of rah rah, fist pumping, or exhortation. Five empty stuffed lobby seats awaited their occupants. Certainly, one of them would be Scott Walker and the others, local poo-bahs. Nope! Curve ball!
The event was, instead, a little bit Oprah Winfrey — but from the evangelical right. Cruz, now the favorite to win Wisconsin’s presidential primary on April 5, mainly let the women — four in particular — do the talking while he smiled and listened.
“This has to be a first in the history of presidential candidate appearances, a candidate who listens and doesn’t talk,” said Rebecca Hildeman, author and national chair of a women’s group supporting his candidacy. She moderated an entertaining and humanizing panel discussion of how Ted Cruz is good for women. The panel of experts: his wife Heidi Cruz, 81-year-old mother Eleanor Darragh, and former rival Carly Fiorina — the latter famously dissed by their main rival, Donald Trump. They were joined briefly at the beginning by the Cruz daughters, Caroline, 7, and Catherine, 5.
Carly Fiorina takes her place as Heidi Cruz embraces daughters and mother Eleanor, far right, watches. Photo by Todd Osborne.
It was billed as a “Celebration of strong women.”
From a crass political calculus, the event counters rumors (allegedly fed by Trump) that Cruz is an adulterer. The well-attended event — let’s say 500 and standing room only — also differed in tone with a much softer focus. Instead of put-downs and insults, the words “love” and “faith” predominated. The event did not require tickets; it was not picketed or disrupted.
“I need to tell you why I fell in love with him. It’s how incredibly thoughtful he is,” said Heidi Cruz, daughter of African missionaries. "This is a son who was by his mother's side when she had breast cancer. This is a husband who has suggested I go for every single promotion I have ever gotten."
Your humble Squire (lower left) got a prime seat. (Milwaukee Fox TV-6 News grab).
Cruz himself told the story of a worried mother sleeping in his bed so that, when he returned home as a young man she would know that he had gotten home while still getting some sleep. “My mother loved me unconditionally.”
It was his mother’s first on-stage role in the campaign, he said. A believable claim, because Eleanor had to be told to put the microphone closer to her mouth.