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The Lid: Why Ted Cruz Just Named Carly Fiorina His VP

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… In an attempt to make an analogy to the plot of the movie "Hoosiers," Ted Cruz referred to a basketball hoop as a "basketball ring" yesterday. The good news is that his move to preemptively select a presidential running mate is being reviewed as a real "blast-dunk!"

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'16 from 30,000

Well, this was hardly a sleepy post-primary day! Here's a little bit of #realtalk about Ted Cruz's unusual (but not unprecedented!) move to pick Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate when he's trailing badly in the delegate count. On the plus side, Cruz was at least partially able to shake up a bad news cycle by teasing and then confirming the announcement. The pick of a woman who's never held elected office and has a good record of fiery debates gives him a high-value surrogate who is eager to fight a two-front war against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And Fiorina is the kind of candidate who's gotten under Trump's skin before and could conceivably provoke a damaging reaction from the GOP frontrunner. But plenty of critics are deriding the move as desperate, presumptuous and calculating - themes that Donald Trump is sure to repeat for the rest of the week. And being perceived as desperate is a tough place for Cruz to be with a must-win contest in Indiana just days away.

(By the way, the precedent we mentioned earlier is none other than Ronald Reagan, who announced Sen. Richard Schweiker as his running mate heading into the open convention in 1976. The difference then: The primary voting was over and a contested convention was assured.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"Carly may become the first vice president in history to have a very impressive fluency with heart and smiley face emoticons."

  • Ted Cruz in speech announcing Fiorina would be his VP pick.

TOMORROW'S SKED

Donald Trump campaigns in Indiana and California.

John Kasich is in Oregon.