If you’re like me you probably have the occasional nightmare in which Ted Cruz becomes president. It’s unlikely to happen, of course, but his bullying self-confidence is convincing, particularly if you’ve watched him parachute into a place like Iowa and conservative activists greet him like he’s Elvis circa 1956.

So it was fun last night to find out that the blustering junior senator from Texas is capable of screwing up a one-car funeral. Here’s the account from Mediaite‘s Tina Nguyen of his self-appointed Response to the State of the Union Address last night:

Unlike many of his colleagues, who gave pre-written speeches and taped them on sets, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) decided to record his response to Obama’s State of the Union Address outside the House Chamber, next to a statue of Texas hero Stephen Austin, using the iPhone of some staffer who forgot to edit the video before posting it on YouTube.

The original video was quickly deleted because it showed Cruz, the former Solicitor General of Texas and champion college debater, successfully improvising an eloquent response, seamlessly hitting a series of prepared talking points criticizing the Obama administration…for about forty seconds.

And then he needed a redo.

Ah, the perils of politicians going without a script.

YouTube video

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.