RUBIO CLAPS THREE TIMES, WAITS FOR THE MODERATENESS FAIRY
I've only read bits of the foreign policy speech Marco Rubio delivered at the Brookings Institution today, but Jefferson Morley has persuaded me that Rubio is another Beltway insider who naively thinks the GOP will be totally over this barking-mad-extremist thing by the next election cycle:
Marco Rubio insists he isn't running for vice president in 2012, but he is running pretty hard for something. The question is what and when.
The junior senator from Florida gave a proverbial "major foreign policy address" in Washington today, after publishing an Los Angeles Times op-ed calling for the U.S. to pay more attention to Latin America and before moving on to a meeting with Democratic senators about his variation of the Democrats' DREAM Act.
If nothing else, the events indicate Rubio is auditioning to become the new Richard Lugar: the Democrats' favorite Republican....
Morley runs through the details of the speech -- the shout-outs to Democrats, the positive references to multilateralism, the VP-disqualifying nice words for the UN -- and concludes:
Rubio's audience was Washington elites not the Republican base. In conjunction with his independent stance on immigration, Rubio’s speech veered so far from Republican orthodoxy circa 2012 as to almost disqualify him as Romney's running mate, at least in the eyes of a suspicious conservative base....
Rubio is positioning himself as a compassionate conservative and internationalist, a profile that will serve him well with the media. And his well-buffed bipartisan image will serve him even better if Romney loses.
Is "Rubio angling for Obama second term Secy State?" tweeted Yahoo News' Laura Rozen facetiously. No, he's angling for another job in 2016.
Yeah, he is angling for a very particular job in 2016. And he's an idiot for doing it this way. And no, this won't set him up nicely if Romney loses.
Clearly he's been infected with Jon Huntsman-itis. He thinks -- as do a lot of people in the political smart set -- that Republican extremist insanity is just a phase and simply has to end soon, possibly after this fall's presidential election, certainly by 2016.
That's nuts. The crazy base of Rubio's party has pre-autopsied a Romney loss and concluded that the cause of the campaign's death (if it happens) will be a failure to be right-wing enough. These baseheads aren't going to get burned out -- not if Obama is president for four more years. They're just going to get madder and madder until (a) they elect one of their own as president or (b) they start a second civil war.
Now, maybe Rubio will figure this out between now and 2016, and be a Romney-esque shape-shifter. But I'd say George Zimmerman has a better chance of being the GOP's presidential nominee than Rubio, or would if he were old enough.