On November 23 1984, the Boston College Eagles faced the Miami Hurricanes. At the time, it was just another game, but because of one incident, it’s now regarded as one of the most memorable games in football history.
In the first quarter, Boston routed Miami, scoring 14 points. However, the field eventually leveled, and with just six seconds left in the game, it was Miami’s to lose. They were up on Boston by four points, 45-41. For Boston to win would be nearly impossible. Then something remarkable happened.
Quarterback Doug Flutie attempted a 65-yard pass to Gerard Phelan. Flutie let the ball fly, the clock hit zero, and 30 million Americans watching on CBS became locked in a single moment together as time lost its value. Phelan caught the pass, Boston won, and Flutie’s Hail Mary went down in history as one of the most incredible plays in college football.
The Hail Mary pass is often regarded as an act of desperation–and it is. But desperation isn’t always a negative, despite the connotation that comes with the word. As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures, and sometimes those measures lead to extraordinary outcomes in the face of long odds.
Doug Flutie later said of the stunning play:
“Without the Hail Mary pass, I think I could have been very easily forgotten. We would have gone to the same bowl game…everything would have been the same, except that pass put this label on me as ‘It’s never over till it’s over’ guy.”
Why am I talking about Hail Mary passes and football? Because it relates to what happened Wednesday when Ted Cruz chose Carly Fiorina as his potential vice presidential nominee.
Ted Cruz is the quintessential “it’s never over till it’s over” guy. When he entered the race in March 2015, he was polling in single digits. After a momentary boost from his announcement, he slid right to the back of the pack. There were 17 Republican candidates, and several of them were the establishment’s golden children–Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham. Over time, each one of them fell as Cruz steadily rose above.
The Washington elites despise Ted Cruz . John Boehner called him “Lucifer;” Peter King said he’ll take cyanide if Cruz is the nominee; Lindsey Graham said that if someone murdered Cruz on the senate floor, and the trial were held in the senate, no one would convict the killer. They hate him because he does what he says he will do. He doesn’t do “show votes,” or project a facade. What you see is what you get.
Ted Cruz has a breathtaking track record of achievement:
- Princeton, and Harvard Law, where liberal Alan Dershowitz called him “off-the-charts brilliant,” and one of the best students he ever had.
- A clerkship under one of the most respected conservative Supreme Court Justices, William Rehnquist.
- His time at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he worked tirelessly to roll back unnecessary regulations.
- His tenure as the solicitor general of Texas, where he argued monumental cases before the Supreme Court, winning over and over again. For one example, read this account of Cruz’s Supreme Court case Medellin v. Texas.
- After being elected to the United States senate, he did everything he could to take down Obamacare, up to and including a 21-hour filibuster. He did it because he told Texans he would.
- He’s tackled illegal immigration, and fought against amnesty–both the Gang of Eight bill as well as Obama’s executive actions.
- Running for president, Cruz has been a consistent constitutional conservative.
But now Cruz faces a major challenge in the form of Donald Trump. The Orange Menace maintains a large delegate lead, and he’s aided by an adoring media, and cult-like following.
Trump screams and points fingers at Cruz, calling him “lyin’ Ted.” He claims Cruz is “bribing” and “stealing” delegates, despite there being no evidence of any such bribery, or stealing. Trump calls ours a “rigged” system, yet doesn’t complain when the system favors him, which it has on numerous occasions. Trump flatly refuses to face Cruz in a one-on-one debate because he knows he’d be crushed.
Regardless of Cruz’s strengths, he is indeed in need of a boost. He must win the state of Indiana, which votes May 3, to keep Trump from winning a majority of delegates, thus clinching the nomination outright.
Wednesday, in an almost unprecedented move, Cruz chose Carly Fiorina (my dream ticket since October) to be his potential VP. I say almost unprecedented because it’s been done before. In 1976, Reagan, challenging Gerald Ford, chose a running mate prior to the convention.
Fiorina brings many qualities that can and will be beneficial to Ted Cruz’s campaign:
She’s a fighter
Carly Fiorina took on Donald Trump before it was cool. Who can forget her memorable line during the debate at the Reagan Library when she nailed Trump to the wall for his comments regarding her appearance.
Fiorina can attack Hillary in a way Ted Cruz can’t and won’t
Remember when she flatly called Hillary Clinton a liar while speaking with Chris Matthews?
She balances out the gender gap
According to Gallup, Trump has the worst net negative among women (-47 percent). However, while Cruz’s number is substantially higher (-16 percent), he still falls behind Hillary and Bernie, whose numbers are -3 percent and +15 percent respectively.
Having Fiorina onboard may attract female voters, and having her attack Trump may drive his numbers even lower.
I know a lot of Carly supporters who, for one reason or another, aren’t Cruz fans. After Cruz’s announcement, however, I saw one of my most ardently anti-Cruz/pro-Carly friends post a status update on Facebook saying Cruz’s choice may just change his mind.
There are many Republicans–many of whom are what you’d call “moderate,” for lack of a better word–who are turned off by Cruz. Bringing Fiorina onboard may also bring these moderates to Cruz’s side.
When Fiorina officially endorsed Ted Cruz seven weeks ago, Meghan McCain was swayed. This next step may garner even more support from those who were formerly reticent, and possibly leaning toward John Kasich, or no one at all.
Is this a “desperate” move? Sure. Does that mean it’s bad? Absolutely not. Times of great trouble often necessitate desperate actions. These actions can fail, but they can also bring tremendous success.
Donald Trump is a stunningly dangerous candidate, and he’s leading–but it’s not over till it’s over. I’m in this fight with Ted Cruz until the end, and I’m proud to have a warrior like Carly Fiorina in the fight as well.