Rubio remains the best, and perhaps only, candidate who can unite all segments of the party around a smart, compelling and forward-looking message. He dug himself a hole, but in shoveling his way out he may demonstrate the sort of grit and authenticity voters are seeking.And here's Michael Graham from The Weekly Standard:
Marco's Moment Is NowAnd hope springs eternal, as a CNN reporter tweets this:
No, not Saturday night’s debate: This is Marco's moment.
Getting knocked-down in New Hampshire does not have to be the end of Rubio's run for the GOP nomination. It could be the real beginning. It's all up to the junior senator from Florida....
The fact is, Marco Rubio probably needed something like this....
If Rubio can fight his way through this defeat and find a way to win, he could emerge as a stronger candidate than if he hadn't blown a key debate on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.
Rubio hardly scripted, really let loose and relaxed today on his campaign plane. A possible sign of things to come. https://t.co/hWwL3UQfYa— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 10, 2016
That's a tease for this story, written by Raju and Tami Luhby:
Coming soon: Marco Rubio 2.0
The Republican candidate, who lost momentum this week after coming in fifth in New Hampshire, plans to take a more aggressive tone with some of his rivals -- especially if they attack him on the debate stage -- and is expected to showcase more of his affable personality in order to rebut criticism that he is a scripted candidate.
As one aide put it, "Let Marco be Marco."
Meanwhile, one of Rubio's best-known fans also weighs in, in despair:
Chris Christie, suicide bomber. Damages victim while blowing himself up!— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) February 10, 2016
Rubio may never rise from the dead, but if not, he will be mourned as a martyr.
(Graham link via Roy Edroso. Rubin link via Francis T.)