Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rubio Running Towards 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination

I'm going to run through this as fast as I can:

"Rubio in search of a window of presidential opportunity" by Julie Pace Associated Press  April 13, 2015

WASHINGTON — If Marco Rubio launches his presidential campaign as expected Monday, the first-term Republican senator from Florida may have to answer this simple question: Why now?

Who cares?

Rubio, 43, a rising star on Capitol Hill, could wait four more years, even eight, and still be a relatively young candidate.

Some party officials want him to run for governor or try to hold his Senate seat, which could be crucial to continued GOP control of the chamber. By training his sights on the White House, Rubio also sets up a head-to-head competition with Jeb Bush, a mentor with whom he has many overlapping supporters.

But the window to run for president can close as quickly as it opens.

I think I'll shut it.

Then-Senator Barack Obama of Illinois seized an opportunity in 2008 and won. Donors clamored for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run in 2012, but he declined and now heads into the 2016 campaign in a decidedly weaker position.

Yeah, but he's rebuilding.

‘‘There’s no telling that [Rubio’s] opportunity will be better four or eight years from now,’’ said Fergus Cullen, the former New Hampshire Republican chairman who is yet to throw his support behind a candidate.

My guess is Marco won't be winning the nomination. Maybe a good VP?

Rubio’s advisers know all about the fickle preferences of the electorate. Rubio was a beneficiary of the 2010 Tea Party wave that swept dozens of conservative lawmakers into Congress just two years after Obama and Democrats won big.

Rubio was expected to announce his candidacy Monday in his hometown of Miami, which would put him in the shadow of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton’s own announcement Sunday of a second White House run.

Related: Clinton Caravan to 2016 Democratic Nomination

But Rubio’s team sees an opportunity to answer the ‘‘why now’’ question and argue the country’s pressing problems require a new generation of leaders, not a return to the 1990s.

Rubio is about to step into a field that is shaping up to be crowded and competitive. He won’t be the only senator in the race. He won’t be the only Tea Party-aligned candidate.

He won’t even be the only Floridian, the only Cuban-American, or the only candidate claiming foreign policy expertise. Some are better known — Bush, for one.

But it is early, and Rubio’s advisers say they are playing a long game.

Miami’s Freedom Tower was expected to be picked as the backdrop for Rubio’s campaign announcement. The landmark was once the federal processing center for tens of thousands of Cuban exiles arriving in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.

Rubio’s parents left Cuba in 1956, shortly before Fidel Castro took power.

The senator plans to make his family’s immigrant past and his own success story a central part of his campaign.

Rubio will headline fund-raisers in New York and Boston later this week.

Oh, he's coming to Bah-$ton!


"Marco Rubio enters race, saying he is best man to pitch GOP message" by Ashley Parker New York Times  April 14, 2015

MIAMI — Senator Marco Rubio of Florida announced on Monday he is running for president, declaring that he is the best person to lead the United States into “another American century.”

I get the code, neocon jerk. No thanks.

Rubio made his announcement Monday evening during a speech here in which he presented himself as the embodiment of generational change who can unite the Republican Party’s factions and offer economic solutions for the 21st century.

At 43, the youngest candidate in the rapidly growing 2016 presidential field, Rubio cast himself as a forward-looking, next-generation leader — and an implicit contrast to Jeb Bush, 62, whose family has dominated Republican politics for nearly three decades, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67, the wife of a former president and the expected front-runner in the Democratic field.

Maybe if a Clinton married a Bush we could just anoint the baby and forget wasting time with rigged elections providing the veneer of democracy.

“Too many of our leaders and our ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” Rubio said, pointing to education and spending programs put in place by Democrats in the 1990s.

In a direct attack on Clinton’s candidacy, which she announced Sunday, Rubio said: “Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over and we’re never going back.” 

In 1992 the campaign theme song was Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow!"

And hinting at Bush’s background as the son and brother of presidents, Rubio said: “I live in an exceptional country where the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Rubio’s speech also leaned heavily on the importance of keeping America safe in a dangerous world. Laying out what he considered foreign policy errors by President Obama, he lamented “dangerous concessions” to Iran and the administration’s “hostility” to Israel.

Do I need to repeat the theme? Seems the higher we get on the Republican pecking list the more pro-Israel is the candidate.

But ultimately Rubio made the argument that he was best suited to make the American dream that his family experienced accessible to others.

“This election is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be,” he said.

On Friday, Rubio will head to New Hampshire for a day of meetings with activists, business leaders, and students, as well as the local news media. Friday evening, he will kick off the state party’s two-day leadership summit of 2016 hopefuls, speaking at a dinner in Nashua.

He's skipping Iowa?

At a breakfast for bundlers of donations to his campaign at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, Rubio talked about the venue for his announcement Monday night — Miami’s Freedom Tower, which served as a processing center for thousands of Cuban refugees fleeing the government of Fidel Castro.

He called it a sign of America’s greatness that the child of refugees could run for president.

Rubio joins his Senate colleagues Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have announced their candidacies.

I'm running as fast as I can to keep up.

Other Republican hopefuls, including Bush and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, are also preparing to officially enter the race.

I will be getting to them shortly and then moving on.

Clinton was on a road trip to Iowa after announcing her second bid for the Democratic nomination.

Rubio is expected to campaign on themes that emphasize American greatness and the American dream, an optimistic, aspirational message that he outlined in his newly released book, “American Dreams.”

Maybe I believe that once, more likely not, but in any case the whole thing is hard to stomach when you consider the Senate Torture Report.

He is also angling to become the youthful face of a party that skews older and has struggled to attract young voters, blacks, and Latinos. Many mainstream Republicans hope that a Cuban-American who speaks fluent Spanish can help draw Hispanic voters, a growing demographic that will be critical during the general election, into the party.

Rubio served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, eventually becoming speaker. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010 and has said he would not run for reelection if he ran for president.

Among the Republican Party’s announced and expected candidates, Rubio occupies a middle ground, which is both an asset and an obstacle. He hopes to appeal to more moderate Republicans as well as to social, fiscal, and foreign policy voters, but he could also find himself without a clear constituency, especially in the first four nominating states.

He's got time. Next time, the pundits will say.

Rubio has credibility with the conservative grass roots after defeating both a Democrat and Charlie Crist, a former moderate Republican governor, in his Senate race, but he offers a message that is not as hard-line as those of Cruz and Walker.

All Dunn with Democrats, sorry.

As a member of the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, Rubio has used his time in the Senate to position himself as a hawk, a stark contrast with Paul, who prefers a more restrained approach to military intervention.

This is all such bloviated bullish**.

Rubio plans to travel back to Washington to attend a Foreign Relations Committee meeting Tuesday on legislation that would require Congress to weigh in on any nuclear deal reached with Iran.

Yeah, thanks for contributing to the greenhouse gas/pollution problem.

But his work on immigration — one of his biggest achievements in the Senate — illustrates the delicate balance he will have to strike to make it through his party’s nominating process. In 2013, Rubio was part of a bipartisan group of senators who drafted a broad immigration bill that included a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country.

He has since distanced himself from the proposal, saying he believes any immigration overhaul must start with securing the nation’s southern border and proceed step by step. But his original legislation enraged the right, which saw it as amnesty, while many liberals and immigration groups thought he had not gone far enough and were frustrated with his position.

Maybe I will get back to the border someday. Maybe not.

By making his announcement in Florida, the state that Bush governed for eight years, Rubio signaled that he planned to cede nothing to Bush, his former mentor.

In the weeks leading up to his announcement, Rubio concentrated on fund-raising and putting together a campaign team that aims to be seasoned but lean.

That is the real vote.

On Monday, he gathered some 60 bundlers of campaign donations, from all over the country, for the breakfast; the group was scheduled to have a lunch with Rubio’s campaign team and then get to work en masse for an afternoon round of fund-raising calls.

Gee, I'm late and it's already heading up towards mealtime (one meal a day here, folks).


Globe missed his swing through Boston?

"Pressed by N.H. voters, Rubio stands firm on immigration; Fla. senator tries to build support" by James Pindell, Globe Staff  February 24, 2015

HOLLIS, N.H. — During his first event in New Hampshire explicitly exploring a presidential run, Senator Marco Rubio delivered an impassioned speech, weaving his own personal story with the conservative policy prescriptions he believes would address middle-class anxiety.

The Florida Republican talked about the need to restore the American dream for the working class by making college more affordable and questioned whether four-year college degrees are actually helping students get jobs.

It's all a debt-en$laving scam, kids.

He said that there was a need to lower the corporate tax rate to help companies compete globally and that, above all, the nation needs strong interventionist foreign policy when it comes to China, Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Did he sign the Project For the New American Century? This guy is the antithesis of what I'm looking for. He's another neocon war-monger who wants to shovel even more loot at the 1%.

Many of the 100 Republican activists who attended the town hall-style event had a clear first impression: They liked him, but they didn’t love him.

What Rubio thought of them might be a more important question.

Rubio took a dozen questions in this small Republican-leaning town just west of Nashua. While many questions focused on disagreement with President Obama, audience members were generally skeptical of Rubio’s push in the past for a comprehensive immigration bill and the fact his presence meant he was missing a key vote in Washington involving immigration.

Peppered with questions on the issue, Rubio didn’t back down from his earlier stance, dissappointing an audience member who wanted him to commit to deporting everyone in the country illegally.

“No candidate can commit to that,” he said.

The immigration issue has hurt Rubio’s standing among conservative Republicans who vote in the nation’s first presidential primary.

That's strange because a week or so ago I was told it was going to be the basis of his campaign, etc. Of course, a week is forever in politics.

In 2013, Rubio was either tied for first place among potential Republican candidates with 15 percent support or he remained in the top tier. After pushing for an immigration bill that stalled on Capitol Hill, that support has plummeted. A WMUR Granite State poll this month showed Rubio in the middle of the pack with just 5 percent support.

If and how Rubio can find a path back into the top tier may determine whether he ends up running for president or seeking reelection for the Senate in 2016.

Interviews with a dozen activists who attended his event suggest that people were impressed, but far from encouraging him to run.

“He is an impressive guy, a contender,” said Peter Band, a member of the Hollis Board of Selectmen. “But you can tell he hasn’t won over the crowd yet. He will have to come back a few more times for that.”

One thing Rubio has going for him is that he is genuine, according to state Senator Kevin Avard, who was among a group of 20 who met privately with Rubio.

“That is what the people are looking for right now,” Avard said. “People are sick of smooth candidates from the establishment.” 

I agree with that. We are, and Rubio is part of it. They all are.

While much of the national political conversation has focused on how two Republican politicians from Florida — Rubio and former governor Jeb Bush — could run for president at the same time, few here saw this as the choice.

“There are some here who are intrigued by Rubio, but most are considering him along with Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker,” said Liz Christoffersen, a Republican activist who helped host the event.

Rubio was also in the state to sell books. His visit to a Manchester bookstore completed his early state circuit of book-signing events in Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada.

Yeah, if the campaign flops at least they have the dough made of the book!

Tuesday morning Rubio is scheduled to meet privately with a large group of college Republicans before addressing a Politics and Eggs breakfast made up of local business and civic leaders.

Time for lunch here.