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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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