Newly elected Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a leader in the Republican fight against President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department, was silent as several party colleagues continued the battle today on the Senate floor.
Cruz’s reticence, though, had nothing to do with any change of heart toward Hagel, himself a Republican and former senator from Nebraska. Rather, Cruz is suffering from a case of laryngitis.
“I regret that he lost his voice,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, another Hagel foe. “But it is kinda funny.”
As Inhofe noted dryly in his floor comments: “For a senator to lose his voice, what’s worse than that?”
Cruz won’t want to strain his vocal cords. Organizers of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — the can’t-miss event for those who can’t get enough Obama-bashing — announced today that Cruz, 42, will be the gathering’s closing speaker.
It was as the closer four years ago that talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh famously declared that he hoped Obama, who had just barely occupied the White House, failed as president.
This year’s CPAC confab convenes March 14-16 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, which overlooks the Potomac River just outside Washington in Maryland.