Mr. Cruz, now a Texas senator and a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, rarely invokes the 2000 race and recount. He has largely disavowed the comparatively moderate Bush wing of theRepublican Party in pursuit of conservative ideological purity.
Yet his initial venture into presidential politics is by turns a confirmation of, and a complication for, the professed Cruz image.
The race installed Mr. Cruz as a creature of the Republican establishment — but also helped initiate his divorce from it. He made plenty of enemies among party operatives, according to interviews with over a dozen former colleagues, though for reasons that had little to do with ideology.
“I was far too cocky for my own good,” Mr. Cruz wrote in his book, “A Time for Truth,” explaining how the burned bridges probably cost him a desired job in Mr. Bush’s White House, “and that sometimes caused me to overstep the bounds of my appointed role.”
On this point, Mr. Cruz and his detractors agree.