Friday, October 25, 2013

Things you probably didn’t know about Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is a man of diverse tastes (Yahoo News/original image AP)

Love him or hate him, it’s safe to say Ted Cruz is currently the most compelling figure in U.S. politics today.

The first term Texas senator led the Republican charge against Obamacare that resulted in a 16-day government shutdown and ignited the passions of millions. And if political insiders are to be believed, Cruz is already gearing up to run for president in 2016.

But for someone who has wielded so much influence in such little time, most people know very little about Ted Cruz as a person.

A few publications are aiming to change that. On Thursday, Cruz sat down with the Des Moines Register for a Q&A and revealed a few factoids about himself:

His dream job: “I’d love to be the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, and I’m confident that there is no universe in which that will ever come to pass.”

Favorite movie: A self-described “huge movie buff,” Cruz says his favorite movie is 1987’s “The Princess Bride.” And that revelation led to a series of very obvious Internet references to the film . Fondness of “The Princess Bride” is a true barometer of humanity and should provide a ray of sunshine into the hearts of even Cruz’s most steadfast opponents.

Least favorite food: And as much as Cruz loves movies, he hates avocados. “I despise avocado. It’s the only food I dislike, and I dislike it passionately,” he said. “Which is ironic, because I’m Cuban, and my dad grew up with avocado trees in his backyard. My whole family eats avocados like crazy, but I can’t stand them.”

Of course, Cruz should be careful to not re-create George H.W. Bush’s broccoli moment, as Texas is quickly becoming one of the larger avocado growing states in the U.S. His comments already invoked the playful wrath of the Dallas Observer’s Liz Goulding, who wrote, “How can you understand Texas if you don't enjoy chips and guacamole on a sunny patio every once and awhile, or if you've never discovered that perfect mix of avocado, lime juice, and salt at home?”

Back when he was a Houston lawyer first running for the Senate in 2012, Cruz gave an interview to the Dallas Morning News in which he revealed some other personal facts.

Worst school subject: French.

Favorite food: And while he despises avocados, Cruz says he loves beef enchiladas and a good Guinness stout.

Skills: As to any “hidden talent,” Cruz said, “I love games of any sort, cards, chess, backgammon.” He especially likes playing them on his iPhone, despite not having an unlimited data plan.

Family background: And while many have pointed out that the Texas senator was technically born in Canada, far less know that Cruz is in fact of Cuban decent. "I do enjoy an occasional cigar. (I am Cuban after all!),” he told the paper.

Education: A man who graduated cum laude from Princeton, magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist. But who, really, at the end of the day just wants to see Princess Buttercup returned safely home and maybe sneak in a game or two on his iPhone before bed.

So, there’s your basic primer on the man Slate’s John Dickerson calls a “populist egghead.”

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