'Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.' This statement from the election race of 1988 came to mind after Ted Cruz surprisingly sought to co-opt JFK to his cause over the weekend. Cruz, the junior Senator from Texas whose hold on those keen to enough to vote in a primary will soon be tested, said JFK would be a Republican today:

 JFK campaigned on tax cuts, limiting government and standing up and defeating Soviet communists. He stood for religious liberty, and he would be tarred and feathered by the modern Democratic Party.

All of those vying for a nomination are virtually camped out in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and it was in a restaurant in the latter that Cruz, a one-time Tea Party favourite, made his startling claim. ThinkProgress was among the first to take Cruz on, pointing out his vision of limited government is derived ' from a radical interpretation of the 1Oth amendment that deems much of what government does is unconstitutional, including problems like Medicaid while Kennedy was in favour of significant federal programs in education, medical care and public transport'.

And yes, in 1963 Kennedy did campaign on tax cuts, but as the ThinkProgess piece noted, when you're talking cuts, the base is important:

His 1963 proposal was to cut the top tax individual rates from 91 percent to 65 percent and to bring the corporate rate to 47 percent. Today, Cruz calls much lower rates as too high, vowing to create a flat tax so 'No longer will American businesses face the highest top tax rate, 35 percent, in the developed world'.

Also, while Kennedy promised to keep religion out of government, Cruz has argued the non-religious don't qualify for government, telling a town hall gathering in Iowa earlier this month that 'if you don't begin every day on your knees asking God for his wisdom and support, I don't believe you're fit [to be president]'.

In these last frantic weeks before the Iowa Caucus on February 1, everyone has turned the notch up a little. The intensification was clear in the most recent Democratic hopeful debate, a feisty affair that managed to capture the nation's attention even in the middle of a holiday weekend.

As Jackie Kucinich wrote on the Daily Beast: 'A heretofore nice-and-quiet Democratic primary burst into flames Sunday night as Sanders came out swinging and Clinton went on the offensive.'

Clinton pushed Sanders on previous support for gun lobby while Sanders brought up the paid appearances Clinton had made for the likes of Goldman Sachs. He also taunted her with the poll results, noting that when campaigning began, Clinton was 50 points ahead. 'And now. Guess what? In Iowa, New Hampshire, the race is very, very close. Maybe we're ahead in New Hampshire'.

This, noted Kucinich, is a 'scenario made of night terrors for Clinton, who, eight years ago, lost Iowa to another insurgent progressive who her campaign drastically underestimated.'

Over on Fox News, the entertaining Jessica Tarlov ('my role in representing the left on Fox News can sometimes feel like David vs Goliath but in heels') was pouring cold water on the Sanders dream, declaring that 'no one challenges Bernie Sanders’s authenticity, but there is a very real challenge in getting a candidate elected whose vision is so extreme'.

Clinton, in contrast, offers the feasible version of Bernie’s political revolution, according to Tarlov:

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Bernie Sanders’s vision for America. But that isn’t the issue. The issue is who can we nominate that can win an election and govern in a way that makes progress certain, albeit slow. #ImWithHer.

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