Clinton quite possibly cemented his victory in the 1992 presidential election by being empathetic where President George H.W. Bush was indifferent. His style of politics became synonymous with four famous words: “I feel your pain.”
Twenty-five years later, during a televised Obamacare debate against Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz discovered an innovative twist on “I feel your pain”:
“Congratulations on your pain!”
The basic message politicians try to convey to illness-stricken voters is pretty obvious: “Your tenacity is inspiring.” Perhaps Cruz was aiming for something like that. “Congratulations on dealing with MS! It’s a terrible disease and congratulations on your struggle dealing with it,” conveys a different, more hilarious message: “I am quite monstrous.”
Cruz fared impressively well in the Republican primary last year, but he might have won it all if he’d criss-crossed the country congratulating disaffected people on all of the horrible things that keep happening to them.