[Heidi] Cruz has seldom discussed ... the night of Aug. 22, 2005, when the Austin police fielded a call about a woman in a pink shirt with her head in her hands, sitting near an expressway.The Cruzes had a long-distance marriage at that time -- Ted was working in Austin while Heidi worked first in Washington, then in Houston, 160 miles from Austin. I'm not a Ted Cruz fan (to put it mildly), but I assume this was quite stressful. I don't think less of Heidi Cruz because she lost it at that moment, and the incident has no bearing on my contempt for her husband, which is purely on political grounds.
When an officer approached, Mrs. Cruz explained that she had walked out after dinner. As she sat 10 feet from traffic, the officer determined that she was a danger to herself, according to a heavily redacted police report first obtained by BuzzFeed News. Additional details from another version of the report obtained by The Times showed that the officer transported her to the unnamed facility. In the interview last week, Mrs. Cruz declined to elaborate on what happened that night and said there had been no similar incidents since. She refrained from using the word “depression,” although in his book, “A Time for Truth,” Mr. Cruz wrote that her move to Texas had “led to her facing a period of depression.”
“I don’t have years and years of major suffering from this,” she said, “and I want to use it to strengthen people around me and to recognize that we all have rough patches.”
But what about Trump? Is it really hard to imagine him deciding that he could use this against Ted Cruz?
If he brought it up, I think he'd go into concern-troll mode: I have a beautiful family. My wife, Melania, is a rock. My kids are just terrific. Ted Cruz is a great guy, and he has a beautiful wife but, you know, being president is tough, and being First Lady is tough, and Heidi Cruz ... well, I hope she could handle it. She's had times in her life when things got very dark for her. She had an emotion breakdown -- I mean, she's fine now, but she really, really lost it. She was hanging out by the highwa-- I don't want to talk about it. It's too awful. But if you're president, you need a spouse who's strong. Being First Lady is a tough job. Heidi? I don't know if she could handle it.
Would he actually say that? Would even Donald Trump think it was okay to go that far? And what does it say about Trump that we think he might?
I suspect that even he couldn't get away with this. We're in a confessional, post-Oprah era; we're a long way from 1972, when George McGovern's first running mate, Tom Eagleton, had to leave the ticket because it emerged that he'd been hospitalized for depression and undergone electroshock therapy. Times are different now. People across the political spectrum would rally to the Cruzes' defense.
I wonder if Trump understands that.
By the way, I assume no one would be more scornful of Trump than the Jeb Bush, that paragon of proper behavior and good breeding -- even though Jeb's father's campaign attempted to spread rumors in 1988 that Michael Dukakis had been treated for depression, as Rowland Evans and Robert Novak reported at the time:
Weeks before unsubstantiated rumors about Michael Dukakis made their tortuous way into print, the political apparatus of Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater was investigating the details and trying to spread the findings without leaving any vice presidential fingerprints.Trump attacks people personally. He doesn't understand that you're supposed to let the help take care of the nasty stuff for you.
The target was to trash Dukakis without hurting Bush.
... rumors long extant about two instances of depression by Dukakis attracted the Bush campaign's interest long before they were spread by Lyndon LaRouche's minions. Because Atwater's "opposition research" could not risk being caught, his lieutenants asked outside Republican operatives to do the digging and then quietly broadcast whatever they might find....