How Ted Cruz Began Plotting His Path to the White House in High School

His 1988 bio is really eerie.


Courtesy of Laura Calaway

As a high school senior in the Houston suburbs in the spring of 1988, Ted Cruz sketched out a five-part plan for the rest of his life: go to Princeton, attend Harvard Law, become a lawyer, run for office—and win the presidency.

This ambition trajectory was detailed in his bio for a traveling club he belonged to as a teenager called the Constitutional Corroborators. Founded by a former vaudeville performer named Roland Storey, the troupe of high schoolers entertained Rotary Clubs and other civic groups across Texas reciting portions of the Constitution from memory. Another former Corroborator, Laura Calaway, dug up the program last week and posted it on Medium, along with a photo of a young Cruz eating a gummy bear.

Cruz appears to have followed the career path he sketched out in high school to a tee. He attended Princeton as an undergraduate and majored in political science (go ahead, read his thesis). Then he moved on to Harvard Law School (where he may or may not have formed a study group that excluded students who attended “minor Ivies“). He had a successful law practice, was appointed to political office, ran successfully for Senate, and now has a better shot than most at winning the presidency.

The Corroborators’ year-end speech competition fell short of a Hollywood happy ending, however. As Calaway (a Hillary Clinton supporter) happily notes, she placed first while Cruz came in a disappointing third.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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