The man Time Magazine named “The Republican Savior” in a front cover spread just a few years ago has quit the Republican presidential race. The candidate embraced by the Republican establishment as their new white knight after Jeb Bush’s disastrous campaign, has gone the way of the other thirteen Republican presidential candidates before him … home.
After suffering a humiliating blowout primary loss yesterday in his home state of Florida, Marco Rubio’s career as a politician appears done for. To quote a favorite expression of Richard Nixon, his political career seems “deader than Kelsey’s nuts.”
Rubio’s days as a Florida senator are numbered… literally. His senate career will come to an end at the end of the year, having promised not to seek reelection. At a press conference in West Palm Beach, Rubio told CNN, “January of next year, I will either be president of the United States or I will be a private citizen. If I never hold elected office again, I’m comfortable with that.”
We’ve all heard the expression, “What a difference a day makes,” right? In Rubio’s case, it was more like, “What a difference a debate makes.”
After Rubio’s unexpected strong third place finish in the Iowa caucus, which he and the media hailed as a resounding victory, things were looking up for Marco. It appeared the Republican elites had found their man. He would be the one to go toe- to-toe with the two hated frontrunners, Trump and Cruz.
But then we know what happened next… the New Hampshire Republican debate.
Held just days before the New Hampshire primary, Rubio laid about as big an egg as a candidate could on a debate stage. For some inexplicable reason, he kept repeating the same talking point about President Obama, over and over. An aggressive Chris Christie relentlessly mocked him on what appeared to many to be a computer glitch in Rubio’s brain. A few days later, all the Rubio momentum was gone. He finished a distant fifth in the all-important primary.
Many political analysts are wondering if Rubio has hurt his brand so badly that a 2018 run for the Florida governorship is now out of the question.
At the age of 44, Marco Rubio was the youngest remaining Republican candidate to compete for his party’s nomination. In view of his age, many pundits believe his political career, and fortunes, can be resurrected.
While Barrack Obama was about the same age, and had the same skimpy political resume, as Rubio, the Florida senator proved he did not have the same intelligence, charisma, wit and political skills as the President.
In the words of the late Lloyd Benson who famously said to a youngish Dan Quayle during the 1988 vice presidential debate, “I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Marco, you are no Barack Obama.