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Is Marco Rubio Really Dropping Out of the GOP Veep Stakes?

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Marco Rubio’s decision to – at this point at least – remove himself from the upcoming internet sweepstakes on who Mitt’s going to choose as his running mate is a fascinating play. What could he be thinking? Here are two suggestions and one bonus implication.

Marco Doesn’t Mean It

Normally, politicians like nothing more than ink, more ink and even more ink, but Rubio is a pretty shrewd fellow. He wants the right ink. As a Tea Party favorite being associated with Romney isn’t exactly something that’s going to be get his base too excited, so he needs to play it cool. Being out of the running publicly, doesn’t mean that Romney won’t be begging him to be on the ticket, and it doesn’t mean that he won’t extract all sorts of nasty demands to “change his mind” and come on board. Romney without Rubio, means Romney and Ryan, the talisman of all the wrong messages that the GOP could send this fall.

Rubio Has Too Many Skeletons

You can bet your boots that the Democrats think they can paint Rubio as unethical. From some confusion and irregular payments his own upside-down mortgage, to misuse of Florida State funds, to his penchant for using credit cards from the State GOP to all sorts of dodgy lobbying and mutual back-scratching, Marco Rubio is no Mormon Saint. He’s also done his fair share of fiction on his back story. Perhaps he think that he needs more time to pass before he can call all his seedy shenanigans “ancient history”.

The truth is that Rubio’s ethical detours are probably not enough to prevent him passing a GOP VP vetting process, that’s rarely known for its excessive level of scrutiny. But there’s one last element in play here.

Rubio Thinks Obama Will Win

Let’s put it this way. There’s nothing worse for your political career than being a losing VP candidate. It’s usually a passport to problems, and often utter obscurity. Rubio is a young, rising star of the right. He’s got time to play his cards his way. He may well think that even with the advantages he’ll bring to the Romney campaign, the President will win the day. That might seem an overly pessimistic position, and a somewhat ironic one too. Rubio is vital to the Romney team. It will put Florida closer to a lock, and free up an awful lot of campaign time for the candidate to focus on the West and North East.

There’s something to be said for the notion that Romney’s position is weaker than his predictable blowhard outreach would suggest. A recent Marist poll in Wisconsin that showed the President up by 17 points, 52% to 35% over Romney. Of course the race would tighten, but Romney’s got some baggage that could definitely hurt his chances.

Firstly, the US economy, superficially at least, is on the mend. Secondly, the pressure for an attack on Iran has eased, which along with an economic slowdown in Europe and China, could will have a downward pressure on gas prices. Thirdly, Romney’s pandering to the right during the Primaries may continue to cost him votes among Independent women, millennials and immigrants, while his “private equity” raider past may come back to haunt him. Fourthly, The President’s team is making the right populist moves, while shoring up their “tough guy” stuff with the killing of OBL, and logging some good attack points against Mitt. Finally, the GOP backlash that brought them the House in ’10 has decidedly weakened, with the Tea Party dissipating as a force, and support for their trickle down debt-obsessed smoke and mirrors budget priorities is shaky at best. Standing and winning on a platform that attacks entitlements is tough-sledding.

All in all, Thereisnoplan thinks that Rubio is still a player, despite numerous but minor ethics issues. It’s unlikely that he’s going to get many better opportunities to get to the top of the shit-pile.


Written by coolrebel

April 5, 2012 at 3:39 am

Posted in Washington

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