Every year on April 1, people attempt to trick others with lighthearted pranks – some small-scale and others more elaborate. April Fools' Day is deeply rooted in tradition, and this year people went bigger than ever with their jokes. One famous figure that had everyone fooled is Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
A surprising reveal
Cruz, who many consider a potential presidential candidate for the 2016 election, appeared on "Fox & Friends" and shocked viewers when he rolled up his sleeve to show off a new tatt on his bicep. What design did he get? The politician opted for an image of a fedora-wearing Winston Churchill with a cigar in his mouth. The choice didn't come as a huge surprise, as a video recently came out of Cruz doing an impersonation of the British Prime Minister.
"I'm proud to stand with Winston Churchill," said Cruz, as quoted by CNN. "I've got to say my wife was fairly astonished."
Those watching were all wondering the same thing: Is the design real? Getting inked is a big risk for a political figure, as it can change the person's public image and potentially alienate certain supporters. So there's a good chance that if Cruz were to run for president, he might have some tattoo regret down the road if the piece is permanent. However, it seems the ink will likely wash away with time. Cruz didn't directly answer the hosts when they pressed him about whether the tatt was legit. However, he pointed to the calendar, adding "it might suggest something about what you're seeing."
Later, Cruz tweeted a photo of his fresh ink with the hashtag #AprilFoolsOrIsIt in the caption.
Even though the tatt was likely a trick, Cruz may be considering the real thing. NY Daily News reported that during a speech at Liberty University, the senator told the audience that he was so inspired by the school's dedication to conservative values that he might get an eagle emblazoned on his chest. The promise caused students to erupt into applause, though the news source noted that they are required to conceal their own ink at the college.
Pigment in the political past
There have been other politicians that have actually gone under the needle. Interestingly, the man that inspired Cruz's design actually was tatted up himself. The Chicago Tribune reported that Churchill had an etching of an anchor on his right arm.
California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, for example, has two half-sleeves. According to GlobalGrind, the former marine started them when he was first deployed. Another politician whose military past inspired him to get inked is Democratic Sen. Sen. Jim Webb. The Chicago Tribune noted that his tatts pay homage to his service as well as his Scottish and Irish heritage.
Meanwhile, the source noted that Florida Rep. Allen West sports an eagle and a set of wings on his arms – and those are just some of the pieces in his ink collection.
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* Source: Harris Interactive, 2012