Marco…Rubio?

 

RubioI’m in Washington, D.C., where some of the political buzz centers around Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the “to be or not to be”/”will he or won’t he?” question of his future plans. Here’s Rubio’s dilemma: run for re-election in 2016, or run for the White House.

It’s an either/or question, as Rubio’s said repeatedly that he won’t go national while trying to hold on to his day job (something that Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan did in 2012 and that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may attempt in 2016 — that is, if he can sell the idea back home).

Rubio’s second dilemma: he has to make up his mind soon, in order for Florida Republicans to get their act together should he vacate the Senate seat.

As Caitlin Huey-Burns explains in this Real Clear Politics piece:

Rubio would be one of the best-positioned senators for re-election, even with an open presidential race as a backdrop. That’s why many Republican campaign operatives hope he’ll stay put.

Regardless, the party is confident that if Rubio doesn’t run to keep his current seat, it has a handful of competent candidates ready to enter the fray. The state’s chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater, appears to be a strong contender if the opportunity arises. (He will be in Washington, D.C., next week, meeting with campaign strategists.) State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is also considered a strong would-be candidate, along with Attorney General Pam Bondi and members of the state’s congressional delegation.

But then there’s the magnetic lure of the presidency. Which begs this question: is there room for Rubio in a crowded field — one that already includes a fellow Floridian (that would be Jeb Bush) at the front of the pack along with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

But should Walker fall back to earth, would that provide an opening for Rubio to steal the mantle of non-Bush alternative? Or, given that Rubio has long been seen as something of a Jeb protege (a characterization the senator doesn’t seem to like), would the smarter strategy be to hope for a Bush meltdown?

Again, we turn to the writings of Ms. Burns:

Contenders have to stake their claim early on the crowded stage. There are several roles to be played in the GOP primary—the conservative favorite, the centrist, the candidate perceived as most electable, the outsider—but many of them are already cast, with understudies. And with a big-name Floridian already moving toward a run—a seasoned governor with an extensive financial and political network and the presidency in his blood—is there room for Rubio?

The young Republican Latino with a gift for oration is finding his window, positioning himself as the 21st century candidate, a fresh face that comes with ideas—ideas about economic mobility, foreign policy, and yes, even immigration.

So is there room for Rubio in this contest? Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com fame, thinks so. Here’s his rationale.

Stay tuned for Rubio’s Senate decision. Should he decide against the second term, it further complicates a Senate map that’s already working against the GOP — just as the 2014 Senate landscape appeared (and turned out to be) dreadful for Democrats.

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  1. user_1126573 Member
    user_1126573
    @

    I like Rubio a lot, I want to see him in the race so I can get a better look at him and see how he handles the elbow throwing and intense scrutiny of a race.

    The base has been far too unforgiving of him for the way he’s tried to navigate the political waters re: immigration. Even if he’s completely wrong on immigration –  which I’m not convinced he is, I think he is open to building a truly conservative consensus on the issue and moving it forward – that is still only one issue of many.

    He has true leadership skills and would give a very welcome fresh and likable face to the GOP and conservatism, especially social conservatism. He deserves to be in the mix and I hope he will be.

    • #1
  2. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Bill,

    First, it is no benefit to be the front runner in the modern political climate. The sheer idiocy of the MSM makes it a daily lunatic’s crap shoot whether any message will get through the morass. For Marco, or any smart actor, to be holding back is not at all surprising.

    His strengths.

    1) Extremely effective speaker. Both his style and content are stellar.

    2) Youth. The easy way to put the Republican brand in a box is to make it all about the “old guard”. Rubio would vaporize the box.

    3) Not White. I’m not talking about his skin color. Again this is a primary way that the Republican brand is put in a box. It’s all about White Guys. They can call Marco just your average WASP but it is self evidently not so. The box gets vaporized.

    4) Hispanic. There are a great many Hispanic votes out there we are not getting. He could help.

    5) Very strong on foreign policy. Great moral clarity.

    His weaknesses.

    1) Soft on Amnesty. He is looking better right now because he isn’t anywhere near as soft as Jeb Bush. Ms. Coulter is right (no kidding) about this issue. It is an issue that a winning Republican must be tough on. If you wonder out into the middle of the road on this you will get run over.

    2) A little too compromise oriented. He got pulled into the dream thing and it has hurt him. If he has learned his lesson he must prove it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
  3. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    John Wilson:I like Rubio a lot, I want to see him in the race so I can get a better look at him and see how he handles the elbow throwing and intense scrutiny of a race.

    Not the question. The question is: Should he give up his senate seat (and maybe allow Charlie Christ to take it) in order to run for president?
    I vote no. If he chooses to give up his seat to devote his full time to run, that will seal the deal for me that he is unsuited for the Presidency.

    This play reminds me of Bart from Blazing Saddles:

    Blazing Saddles (1974)
    [the Johnsons load their guns and point them at Bart. Bart then points his own pistol at his head]

    Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the (n-word) gets it!

    Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.

    Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He’s just crazy enough to do it!

    Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I’ll blow this (n-word)’s head all over this town!

    Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oh, lo’dy, lo’d, he’s desp’it! Do what he sayyyy, do what he sayyyy! [Townspeople drop their guns. Bart jams the gun into his neck and drags himself through the crowd towards the station]

    BOLD is changed from the original script.

    If Rubio can only do one thing at a time, please stay a Senator.

    • #3
  4. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Senator Rubio has a very bright and productive future ahead of him, Presidential candidate Rubio? He is risking a lot.

    • #4
  5. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    James Gawron:

    His Weaknesses.

    1) Soft on Amnesty. He is looking better right now because he isn’t anywhere near as soft as Jeb Bush. Ms. Coulter is right (no kidding) about this issue. It is an issue that a winning Republican must be tough on. If you wonder out into the middle of the road on this you will get run over.

    2) A little too compromise oriented. He got pulled into the dream thing and it has hurt him. If he has learned his lesson he must prove it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Ironically, I trust Rubio on this more than the other candidates; he’s actually touched the third rail of the GOP so he knows (hopefully) not to do it again.

    I think he honestly thought he could work out a compromise that would more or less satisfy all factions. Instead, he got rolled by Schumer et. al. and as result saw his popularity plummet overnight.

    Maybe he learned something.

    • #5
  6. user_428379 Thatcher
    user_428379
    @AlSparks

    He should run for president, giving up his Senate seat, and if he doesn’t win, run for governor in two years. That would, if he wins the state race, position him better for another presidential run.

    • #6
  7. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    billy:

    James Gawron:

    His Weaknesses.

    1) Soft on Amnesty. He is looking better right now because he isn’t anywhere near as soft as Jeb Bush. Ms. Coulter is right (no kidding) about this issue. It is an issue that a winning Republican must be tough on. If you wonder out into the middle of the road on this you will get run over.

    2) A little too compromise oriented. He got pulled into the dream thing and it has hurt him. If he has learned his lesson he must prove it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Ironically, I trust Rubio on this more than the other candidates; he’s actually touched the third rail of the GOP so he knows (hopefully) not to do it again.

    I think he honestly thought he could work out a compromise that would more or less satisfy all factions. Instead, he got rolled by Schumer et. al. and as result saw his popularity plummet overnight.

    Maybe he learned something.

    Billy,

    …hmmmm….Schumer…

    Schumer & Uncle Joe

    The Very Odd Couple.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #7
  8. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Instugator:

    Not the question. The question is: Should he give up his senate seat (and maybe allow Charlie Christ to take it) in order to run for president? I vote no. If he chooses to give up his seat to devote his full time to run, that will seal the deal for me that he is unsuited for the Presidency.

    Exactly. Giving up a good shot at re-election to a Senate seat with the potential for real influence, in order to try for a long-long-shot at the presidency as a first-term Senator following a failed president who was also a first-term Senator, would reveal Rubio to be the kind of egotist I couldn’t vote for.

    Perhaps it’s unfair that Rubio can’t have it both ways while Rand Paul may be able to, but tough luck.

    • #8
  9. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    John Wilson:I like Rubio a lot, I want to see him in the race so I can get a better look at him and see how he handles the elbow throwing and intense scrutiny of a race.

    The base has been far too unforgiving of him for the way he’s tried to navigate the political waters re: immigration. Even if he’s completely wrong on immigration – which I’m not convinced he is, I think he is open to building a truly conservative consensus on the issue and moving it forward – that is still only one issue of many.

    He has true leadership skills and would give a very welcome fresh and likable face to the GOP and conservatism, especially social conservatism. He deserves to be in the mix and I hope he will be.

    Very insightful response.

    • #9
  10. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    John Wilson:I think he is open to building a truly conservative consensus on the issue and moving it forward – that is still only one issue of many.

    He has true leadership skills and would give a very welcome fresh and likable face to the GOP and conservatism, especially social conservatism. He deserves to be in the mix and I hope he will be.

    Of course, these are all good reasons for Rubio not to run for president in 2016.

    At the moment, he appears to be the most promising of the big-name first-term Senators. It would be a shame for him to throw that away before really hitting his prime just for a long-shot vanity run.

    Plus, he needs a few more years to figure out that pink lipstick is not becoming of a man of authority.

    • #10
  11. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Plus, he needs a few more years to figure out that pink lipstick is not becoming of a man of authority.

    Surely you can write a more intuitive insult than that ?

    • #11
  12. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    The solution is for him to run for the U.S. Senate again — and for some real conservative who isn’t a Benedict Arnold who lies to the voters about his illegal immigrant position to defeat him in the primary.  (He only looks good compared to Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush.)

    And I would gladly support conservative primary challengers to John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Jeff Flake also.
    maxresdefault

    “Listen, you deaf (bleep).  I offered you a chance when we could have done something, I offered you a chance to be a cop, and you blew it! You blew it!” — Robert De Niro in Cop Land

    If the voters don’t punish the traitors, the whole system breaks down.  It’s bad enough that elected Republicans have been too terrified of Obama to defund anything for 4-6 years as the debt doubles for future generations.

    Foreign policy?  The only Republican candidate who knows anything about foreign policy is a 43-year-old lifetime politician and lawyer who never served in the military?

    This country has to get back to work by getting its citizens back to work, not by importing more low-skill law-breakers.

    Eric Cantor has a better record than Rubio.

    However, I do support Hugh Hewitt’s idea that Bush and Rubio should have lots of debates in Spanish.  That’s one way for Middle America to get rid of two candidates at the same time.

    “We have room for but one language in this country, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house.” — Theodore Roosevelt, a president who actually knew a few languages

    • #12
  13. user_1126573 Member
    user_1126573
    @

    If you read the article that Bill cites in the OP, it states that Rubio would still have time to jump back in the senatorial primary if he saw that his presidential bid was going nowhere. He only has to forego a Senate run if he sticks with his presidential bid past the Florida primary qualifying date which is May.

    • #13
  14. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    John Wilson:If you read the article that Bill cites in the OP, it states that Rubio would still have time to jump back in the senatorial primary if he saw that his presidential bid was going nowhere. He only has to forego a Senate run if he sticks with his presidential bid past the Florida primary qualifying date which is May.

    He also has the comfort of knowing that his Floridian constituency will support him either way. He’s extremely well-liked in my state and most importantly has a remarkably diverse group of supporters from RINOs to the Country Clubs to the first and second and third generations of Cuban immigrants.

    No small accomplishment because Florida has 29 electoral votes in 2016.

    • #14
  15. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Eric Cantor has a better record than Rubio.

    Eric Cantor likes his current job and I’m grateful that he does; he’s very, very good at it.

    • #15
  16. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    EThompson:

    John Wilson:If you read the article that Bill cites in the OP, it states that Rubio would still have time to jump back in the senatorial primary if he saw that his presidential bid was going nowhere. He only has to forego a Senate run if he sticks with his presidential bid past the Florida primary qualifying date which is May.

    He also has the comfort of knowing that his Floridian constituency will support him either way. He’s extremely well-liked in my state

    That’s very good to know.

    EThompson:

    Plus, he needs a few more years to figure out that pink lipstick is not becoming of a man of authority.

    Surely you can write a more intuitive insult than that ?

    Wasn’t meant to be insulting – I have a ton of respect and admiration for Rubio (probably more than most people on this site). But every time I clicked on this thread I kept cringing at those hot-pink lips.

    Superficial? Definitely.

    • #16
  17. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Does Florida allow him to run for both at the same time?  And if so, why won’t he do it?

    Is that supposed to be somehow less honorable?  Maybe, if you look at it very cynically, it can appear as though you’re hedging your bets: if I can’t be President, I still want to at least be Senator.  But it shouldn’t.  I’m very thankful Paul Ryan is still a voice on our national stage, and evidently so are his constituents, since they keep reelecting him.   No one thinks that Scott Walker or John Kasich or anyone else on a different election cycle should resign in order to run; we understand that we will consider them and if we choose not to promote them, they will continue to serve their own states.

    • #17
  18. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Personally, I’d like Rubio to wait. He’s on the cusp of being a true superstar in the Senate. I’d like to not lose that. On the other hand, if the field begins to look anemic–if Bush and Paul become the default choices–I like to see Rubio (and Walker) get in to mix things up.

    • #18
  19. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    I like Rubio a lot, but if he were replaced by Adam Putman the Senate would be stronger for it. He was one of the finest, most promising members of the house when he retired in disgust over the way the media – especially George Stephanopolous – helped Rahm Emanuel sand bag him over the Mark Foley scandal.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    I like Rubio but I have a bias against people from the Senate.  If he’s going to give up his seat, then he should run for Gov and then run for President.  He might make a good Vice President though.  Bottom line, he’s too valuable in the Senate and should stay there.

    • #20
  21. user_129539 Member
    user_129539
    @BrianClendinen

    We need to get Bill Nelson out in 2018. I think Rubio thinks if the presidential bid goes no were he could stand a good chance at unseating Bill. However a safe seat to a up for grabs seat that is just dumb. Get a good candidate to run against Nelson in 2018 the properly less risky method for keeping control of the senate.

    • #21
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