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Chan Lowe: Allen West challenges Rubio?

Marco RubioAllen WestRonald ReaganU.S. Senate

There’s something about Marco Rubio that’s just a little too “handled.” You get the feeling that there’s a choreography chart he’s following, and that he doesn’t venture a statement about anything until it’s been filtered through a miniature focus group that resides in his head.

 

Former Congressman Allen West, on the other hand, takes no prisoners and shoots from the lip. He’ll tell you exactly what’s on his fertile mind, and if some simpering liberal pantywaist gets his politically-correct tail feathers ruffled, so be it. He’s our final bulwark against the Communistic threat, particularly since he discovered that the majority of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives are recipients of the Order of Lenin.

 

Rubio is threading the needle on this immigration business — throwing sops to the hard right about language requirements and other impediments to a path to citizenship — while trying to maintain his viability with Hispanics and the moderates he’ll need should he decide to seek the presidency. It’s a tough act to finesse, even for a smooth operator like Rubio.

 

West has no such concerns. To win the Florida US Senate primary — which would be closed to all but registered Republicans — all he has to do is gin up the crazies. The wilder his talk, the more likely they are to turn out for him. Ronald Reagan himself, were he to rise from the dead, couldn’t resist an Allen West offensive.

 

West doesn’t even have to make good on his musings about running; the mere threat of his challenge is enough to hem Rubio in, forcing him to the right and making him less viable with each bone he’s forced to throw to his ravening ultra-conservative wing. Maybe this is all West really wants — to stiffen young Marco’s spine with a figurative pistol shot past the ear, as it were.

 

But it could be that West’s tantalizing tease is more than just that, and he’s testing the waters to find out if potential voters and big money people are listening. Imagine the carnage if West charges in with guns blazing. Watch for lifetime Democrats to register as Republicans just so they can vote for him.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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