Will GOP Go With Rubio?

Monday, June 15, 2015

I haven't thought much yet about what I would do were the GOP to nominate Marco Rubio for President in the next election, but a couple of columns over the weekend give good reason to suspect that that's what will happen. First, Charles Krauthammer, who I think has a fair read on what the electorate might actually choose, offers the following interesting argument in light of the crowded field:

... Marco Rubio. Good launch, steady follow-up. With his fluency in foreign affairs, he's benefited the most from President Obama's imploding foreign policy. Polls well, but with seven or so within the margin of error, the important question is less "Who do you support?" than "Who could you support?" (measuring general acceptability). Rubio leads all with 74 percent. The New York Times' comical attempts to nail him on driving (four citations in 18 years -- "Arrest that man!") and financial profligacy (a small family fishing boat -- a "dream dinghy," says a friend of mine -- characterized as a "luxury speedboat") only confirm how much the Democrats fear his prospects. [bold added]
This argument is quite similar to one a friend recently offered for why he also thinks, "It'll be Rubio."

This general acceptability will likely combine with leftist smearing such as Krauthammer mentions backfiring -- or lots of conservatives thinking it is -- to contribute to a perception that Rubio also gives the GOP the best chance of defeating Hillary Clinton. A column about the hit jobs/grasping at straws makes this point well:
Most middle-class Americans struggle with debt, get traffic tickets. Many lost money when the subprime mortgage bubble burst. What they take away from these hit pieces is that Marco Rubio is a lot like them.

The smears boosted his fundraising, created sympathy for him among Republicans, making it more likely they'll nominate the person Democrats fear most. The fail has been so epic that MSNBC talk show host Chris Hayes suspects the stories were planted by Mr. Rubio's staff.

Other GOP contenders are green with envy. What can they do, they wonder, to get the Times and Post to smear them? [bold added]
The two arguments put together suggest to me that the nomination is indeed Rubio's to lose.

-- CAV


Realist Theorist said...

Of the ones I've heard, Rubio is the most convincingly articulate. He's like the GOP Obama: running a bit too young, but probably able to inspire the base while getting others to vote for him. Being from Florida helps a lot with election map/math. I reckon the one thing working against him among the base is his pro-immigrant lean, but he seems to poll well among the base anyway: unlike Bush and Christie.

I figure Bush and Rubio are the two with the best shot: depending on whether the party goes conventional or daring.

Gus Van Horn said...


Of those two, I think I'd dislike Rubio less, but I could always end up changing my mind.

I keep hearing the phrase "Bush fatigue". Perhaps that phenomenon will tip the scales in Rubio's favor.


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus: Happy 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta!

Gus Van Horn said...

Back at ya', Snedcat. Haven't gotten to it yet, but George Will wrote one for the occasion.

Steve D said...

Whoops, I had planned to mention Magna Carta today at lunch, Gus. I had a short conversation with my son this morning about what it meant. Also of historical interest is the codification of Angle-Saxon law in the charter and the Anglicization of the Norman barons.

BTW, if I had to guess (not my choice) about who will be the next president I would say Rubio. The second most likely I think is Walker. I am not sure who I would pick from the democrat side. Bloomberg might have a chance.

Gus Van Horn said...

I agree with you as far as GOP nominees go, but I am unsure of Clinton losing: I am seeing too many otherwise intelligent adults apparently turning off their cognitive apparatus and saying they will support her -- period.