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 two arguments put together suggest to me that the nomination is indeed Rubio's to lose.
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]