I hate to bring this up, but it looks to me like Ted Cruz's presidential campaign just took a big step forward. He may have infuriated a wide swath of Republican bigwigs, but only he comes out of this looking like he fought Obamacare to the very end. And that, not endorsements from other senators, is what Republican primary voters are going to care about.
Who can challenge Cruz? Chris Christie just signed a bill granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. How is that going to play in South Carolina? Rand Paul has come out of the shutdown looking like a weakling; he was too close to the obstructionists to earn any credit with the bigwigs, but not nearly as close as Cruz. Ditto Marco Rubio, who has pretty much disappeared since his immigration plan collapsed. Paul Ryan has the charisma of an accountant and a budget that does't add up, which strikes me as a pretty dismal combination. Plus his long-range plan turns Medicare into Obamacare.
Who else is there? I think Bobby Jindal is a joke, and Jeb Bush has no chance, given how much hatred the Tea Partiers have built up against his father and brother. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker? Indiana Governor Mike Pence?
Quick, somebody suggest something else for me to think about.