Tuesday, March 15, 2016


CNN's MJ Lee wonders what Marco Rubio's future will be like after -- whoops, sorry, I was supposed to say if -- he loses his home-state primary today:
... polls suggest Rubio might not just lose Florida -- but get thumped here.

... even some former Rubio allies say that he might struggle to re-enter Florida politics if he loses the primary by a wide margin.

... Will Weatherford, a former Florida House speaker, who is seen as a possible future candidate for the governorship or the Senate, told CNN this week that Rubio was a "gifted" politician with many doors open to him in Florida politics.

But, he said he did not believe Rubio could crowd other Republicans out of an open-seat race.

"There are other people that would and are considering that seat," Weatherford said. "If he ran, he would be extremely viable, but I certainly don't think he would clear the field."

... "He's never really taken the time to establish real relationships and real roots in Florida and has literally been running for president since the day he took office. I don't just say that as a Democrat," said [Tampa mayor Bob] Buckhorn, who complained that he has never once met Rubio. "There are folks on the Republican side who echo the same sentiments."

... Florida insiders say there is a raw sense of betrayal among [Jeb] Bush allies towards Rubio, and that the bad blood between Bush loyalists and the Rubio camp could interfere with the senator's future aspirations in the state.
Rubio fooled a lot of us into thinking he was a rising star. Maybe that's so far from the truth that doesn't even have the potential to be an ongoing political presence in his home state.

On the other hand, Rubio's fall is so dispiriting to the national political press that there's a 2,777-word elegy for his presidential campaign running in The New York Times right now. The article, by Mark Leibovich, suggests not that Rubio is a failure as a candidate, but that -- tragically -- he just wasn't made for these times:
Rubio is always saying that he represents “new leadership for the 21st century.” This notion has proved almost entirely at odds with the views of the party’s aging, shrinking base. Trump’s message has been neither forward-looking nor optimistic. The front-runner’s America is essentially a weak and scary place, in need of being made great again. There is a theory in presidential politics that voters are inclined to opt for the candidate who is most unlike the incumbent, especially if that incumbent is as despised as Obama is by the G.O.P. It’s hard to think of a better anti-Obama than Donald J. Trump.

Even in likely defeat, you can still see a bright future for Rubio in the G.O.P. The problem is, no one has any clue what the Republican Party will look like after Trump is done with it. If the G.O.P. needed an autopsy after 2012, will it demand a cremation after 2016?

Over the weekend, Rubio’s answers to the “will he support Trump as nominee” question became downright pained. “It’s getting harder every day,” Rubio said in Florida on the morning after the Chicago incidents. He sounded, at this moment, tired, sheepish and maybe embarrassed -- less a man in a hurry than someone who was running out of time.
Which is why I think he'll basically be fine. He'll always be embraced by the mainstream media, because he's the MSM's ideal politician -- he can fool reporters into thinking he's no further to the right than right-centrist, and, more important, he's a youthful-looking white-collar bro in early middle age. (Leibovich: "A few weeks after Romney’s loss in late 2012, I went to a Dolphins game in Miami with Rubio. At the time it was clear that the senator had big plans.... Rubio was refusing most interviews, but I convinced him to talk to me on the condition that we would discuss only football, with which he is obsessed.")

If he never gets back into politics, he'll find himself on a lot of corporate boards, and he'll show up on a lot of political talk shows. At worst, he'll be a Republican Harold Ford, a moderately ethnic, moderately telegenic corporatist who plays a savant on TV. He'll land on his feet. So shed no tears for him after he loses today.


AllieG said...

Rubio reminds me of the really old Hollywood joke about the starlet who ruined her career by appearing in a movie.

Ten Bears said...

He'll have no trouble smuggling cocaine and running prostitutes with his brother-in-law and the rest of the Miami Cubans.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that Cubans are treated the same as Mexicians and Puerto Ricans: they're aliens too, the vast majority of whom are here illegally. Taking jobs (running drugs and whores) from honest down on their luck White Murcans.

Don't get me started on the flipinos.

Feud Turgidson said...

assuming he's not been spending campaign funding like there's a tomorrow for him in elective politics, he can keep more than enough of that cash - I'm assuming it's in the millions his campaign still has in reserve - and afford to go back to school and study towards some new career, like in broadcasting or multilevel marketing, or plumbing, which is starting to be really lucrative in south Florida in particular. Or he could start up a tourism business specializing in taking Americans on a nostalgia tour of pre-Castro Cuba, the ruins, the old since-repurposed casinos and brothels from back in the days before the Revolucion. Or he could flip burgers, or take advantage of all the solid branding work done by Charlie Pierce and go into the lucrative wholesale rake business.

Unknown said...

Rubio made the mistake of espousing the same old failed GOP policies that the base no longer trusts. Warmongering, bad trade deals and trickle down economics have hurt the poor and middle class.

Yastreblyansky said...

"moderately ethnic"

Hahaha, that's why they always called him a moderate. Weren't talking about his politics. I see he went so far and so high because he wasn't auditioning for Fox News but the grander moderate circuit.

Phil Freeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feud Turgidson said...

Today Rubio has told the press he intends to stay in the GOP nom contest regardless of tonight's results in Florida. If so, according to the computerized model Sam Wang worked out, it's virtually impossible for Drumpf to fail to gain a majority of pledged delegates before Cleveland:


Anonymous said...

The comparison to Harold Ford is inspired. Verging on brilliant.

Feud Turgidson said...

Buh-bye, Marco.

Rubio just suspended his campaign.

Hello? Hi. Listen, uhm, is Roger in? Yes, Mister Ailes, okay. Who? Just tell him Marco's on the line ... Marco. Marco Rubio...uh, alright: R. U. B. ...

Unknown said...

Wonder if he's considered going back to Washington to work a bit at the job he's been getting paid for.