Ted Cruz became the first of many Republican believed to be in pursuit of the White House during 2016, as he formally announced his name as a runner for the GOP nomination for the presidency. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and several more right-leaning individuals will probably follow his lead soon enough.
Let's focus on Cruz however. Admittedly, there's not much for a music site to say; he doesn't exactly play bass like former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. However, Music Times was able to hunt down five instances where Ted Cruz became a musical figure. From most relevant to least relevant in his run for the office of Executive in Chief:
The Score from The Shining...or Maybe Psycho
One of the best ways to gather attention as a member of Congress is to lodge a healthy filibuster, and the senator from Texas took up the challenge in an attempt to get a vote on an Affordable Care Act resolution moved back. Filibusters are the best/worst thing in government (best for us non-participants to read about later, worst for members of Congress) because of the inherent rambling involved. Cruz spoke for 21 hours, 19 minutes—the fourth-longest filibuster of all time—and he diverged from basic healthcare questions to how Obamacare tied into subjects such as Green Eggs and Ham and the difficulty of finding White Castle late at night. He grabbed our interest with this gem: "One of the great philosophical conundrums: Is ObamaCare more like Jason or Freddie? In my mind I heard the music from The Shining...no, it was the music from the shower scene in Psycho." We're disappointed in his change-of-mind...indeed the assemblage of compositions chosen for The Shining is one of the most effective uses of music in film. And in actuality, if Obamacare kills our nation, it will probably happen in a more Independence Day scope than a sudden stabbing.
One of the best strategies Democratic supporters have is taking dumb or insensitive things said by Republicans and then airing them out. Accordingly, the party loses when someone on the other side says something of similar ilk. Steve Liesman, a CNBC analyst, may not be a card-carrying member of the Democratic party but he did liberals a disservice when he requested "Mexican music" on-air as he spoke about the Senator and his jobs report during 2013. The first problem: Cruz comes from Cuban stock, not Mexican. Nothing bothers Latin American citizens quite as much as non-Latinos misidentifying them (or their music, for that matter). To further shame minority bashers, he was born in Calgary while his parents were contractors abroad (as they were American citizens, he received American citizenship). The point: He probably enjoys all sorts of music from all sorts of nationalities.
Ted Cruz, Music Critic
Ted Cruz might not reference music too often during his campaigning and stumping, but he'll step in and serve as a music critic when the mood strikes him. The obvious moment during 2015 was when Hillary Clinton got an uninvited bout of support from a group called Stand With Hillary, operated by her longtime supporter Daniel Chavez. They released a country music video in an attempt to sway country fans from the Republican shallows back onto the Democratic beach. Unfortunately, most of the nation cracked up at the unfortunate attempt, including Cruz, who—as a Texan—comes from a land where people take this music seriously. "I almost fell out of my chair laughing," he said in an interview. The musician in the clip turned out to be an actor, Jason Tobias, who also appeared in a music video for Ariana Grande and Chris Brown.
"Wrecking Ball" [NSFW]
We'll clarify to begin with the Cruz had nothing to do with this humorous, amateur video. The senator was one of the strongest proponents for shutting the government down last year, and vocalist and video editor "King The Kid" took him to town for it, placing the senator in a short music video for Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball." It starts innocently enough, with Kid's mouth dubbed over a portrait of Cruz to make it look like the Texan were singing, but it gets NSFW quickly. Cruz's head gets pasted over Cyrus's for the notorious scene of her riding a wrecking ball while naked, resulting in a nude (or wearing women's underwear) Cruz riding the ball across the floor of Congress for two minutes. It's an image you can't give back one you see it.
Ted Cruz, Musician
There's more than one Ted Cruz from Texas, and the other one is an established jazz pianist. TC2 has toured with the Alex Blake Quartet, composed music for documentaries and has worked as a producer and arranger for other musicians. Among his coolest achievements have been composing new music for the opening and closing ceremonies for the ringing in of the new millennium at Times Square, and for performing an improvised score to accompany the cult sci-fi film Tetsuo: The Iron Man.