It’s no particular feat of political clairvoyance to divine that Marco Rubio is really running for Vice President in 2016. The Very Junior Senator from Florida is too young, too inexperienced and too maladroit to be taken seriously as a ticket-topper.
All Democrats would have to do is throw the same accusation back at the Republican ticket that the GOP used on Barack Obama in 2008: Less than one term in the Senate does not a U.S. President make. The more the Republicans have bashed Obama as an incompetent who should never have been elected — much less re-elected — the more they have reinforced that line of reasoning.
And then there’s Hillary, who looms like a pants-suited specter over the entire proceedings. Republicans are already test-marketing the argument that by 2016, she’ll be too old for office. The two-word response to this is “Ronald Reagan.” That affable gent climbed into the saddle (sorry) when he was a year older than Hillary would be at her own swearing-in.
My guess is that Hillary — exhausted as she is by enough responsibilities and embarrassments to fill several lifetimes — simply can’t resist being The First. She already missed it as Secretary of State — not that she wasn’t a good one, but thanks to Madeleine Albright, she wasn’t even the first Wellesley College alumna in the post. And let’s not forget Condi. There’s little room in Wikipedia for the third female who attains something.
Should Hillary act as predicted, young Marco faces obliteration in a general election where moderates, and even misogynists, would grudgingly admit they’d rather have her no-nonsense hand on the reins of state.
Vice President, though, is an entirely different pot of paella. One function of a Vice Presidential candidate is to swing the bloody hatchet so that the top of the ticket’s hands can remain unsullied, but even more important is his or her ability to deliver a state or voting bloc.
It’s a delicate calculus: Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will believe that a man with Rubio’s roots will automatically attract the Hispanic vote, even though he speaks Spanish with a Cuban accent. His backing of a path to citizenship in the recent immigration bill negotiations won’t hurt him in that regard.
Simply introducing a national bill restricting abortions, while a quixotic act in the Democratic Senate, will bolster his cred with his primary audience: the base. They’ll hold their noses and vote for the ticket even after Rubio’s amnesty apostasy, which by 2016 will have faded into the mists of American political apathy.
“To Be Determined/Rubio 2016!” It has a nice ring, no lo crees (don’t you think)?
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun