If Ted Cruz weren't such a loathsome piece of venality, I might have sympathy toward him for having his private life — his alleged private life — splashed all over the National Enquirer.
It has to be a nauseous feeling for a monster of personal ambition such as Cruz to spend years struggling with salmon-to-spawn intensity toward a cherished goal of personal aggrandizement, and have it, if not within his grasp, please God no, then at least within the realm of possibility, Donald Trump notwithstanding.
Then to see it hit this road bump. More like a tree: the National Enquirer, which has bird-dogged some of the biggest scandals of recent years, has implied that five, count 'em, five women have had affairs with Cruz. The mind reels...
Excuse me a moment....
Ewww, yuck!!!! Ptooey!
I'm sorry, where were we? Ah yes, Cruz, who spent Friday busily denying the story. Blaming Donald Trump "and his henchmen." I haven't heard the word "henchmen" used seriously outside of North Korean propaganda and Lemony Snickett novels.
Cruz went on, at great length, denying these allegation. Stepping into the trap set for him. News outlets had ignored these whispers for months, and might have ignored the "thinly-sourced" Enquirer piece, had not Cruz so ham-handedly drawn lingering attention to them, violating the first edict of Crisis PR: Don't Spread the Negative Press Yourself.
Which reminds me of the famous story about Lyndon Johnson. Usually the story hinges around the phrase "pig fucking," but the late, lamented Hunter S. Thompson, of all people, tells a fairly clean version:
Back in 1948, during his first race for the U.S. Senate, Lyndon Johnson was running about 10 points behind, with only nine days to go. He was sunk in despair. He was desperate. And it was just before noon on a Monday, they say, when he called his equally depressed campaign manager and instructed him to call a press conference for just before lunch on a slow news day and accuse his high-riding opponent, a pig farmer, of having routine carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows, despite the pleas of his wife and children.To be honest, I have a hard time believing the National Enquirer allegations—that would imply that somebody, man or woman, found Cruz attractive, and that is unimaginable to me. Not that he's so bad-looking, really, so much as he's living proof that a person's personality colors their features. Satan is handsome, too, until you get to know him.
His campaign manager was shocked. 'We can't say that, Lyndon,' he supposedly said. 'You know it's not true.'
"'Of course it's not true!' Johnson barked at him. 'But let's make the bastard deny it!' "