Ted Cruz, who announced his presidential candidacy today, will be the subject of much vitriol in the press. But he won’t receive the epithet most coveted by liberals when they go after conservatives: They can’t say he’s stupid.
“Off the charts brilliant,” is what legendary liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said of his former student in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer a year ago.
Dershowitz had trouble rating another former Harvard student, Barack Obama, who despite multiple attempts couldn’t get into Dershowitz’s class.
“The computer kept him out,” Dershowitz said. “It wasn’t my fault.”
Ahh, the computer.
In the video below, Dershowitz tells Piers Morgan of CNN in 2013 that Cruz was one of the most intelligent students he ever taught:
One of the sharpest students I had . . . I’ve had 10,000 students over my 50 years at Harvard . . . he has to qualify among the brightest of the students.
At Harvard. Gosh, that’s like being the best tasting sushi in Japan.
Cruz’s star has fallen a bit in recent weeks as Scott Walker and Rand Paul and of course Jeb Bush have ascended. But Cruz is being underestimated.
Over the years, I’ve come to think of chutzpah and initiative and courage as better predictors of success than intelligence. But Cruz has chutzpah and initiative and courage in abundance. And don’t underestimate the power of raw intelligence.
Especially when it comes to the debates, which obviously are extremely important in both the primaries and the general election. Dershowitz:
He was in the class raising his hand . . . making very intelligent points and really winning debates all the time in the class, including winning debates with the professors.
Cruz has another talent most smart people lack: He knows how to be dumb. That is, he is able to tame his mind and stay on message. His mind will have velocity, but it won’t wander. And that’s very effective during debates.