Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Rubio of the Republican Establishment

They think the can sell him to the base and people:

"Marco Rubio seeks his moment in GOP contest — just not too soon" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  October 05, 2015

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has called him a “kid” and a “clown,” even mocking him for his perspiration during the last debate. Jeb Bush, his former mentor, views him as an inexperienced understudy.

Yet Marco Rubio is just where he wants to be.

Rubio has kept a lower profile than many of his opponents since the start of his presidential campaign in April, seemingly content to let other candidates hog the early attention. He has performed well in the debates by most accounts but not grabbed headlines. He only recently has hired a state director in Iowa and has been to New Hampshire just five times since jumping into the race.

If Trump is the candidate who blitzes cable television, Rubio is the candidate playing hard to get. Even as polls began showing him climbing in the race, his campaign recently sent out an e-mail: “Marco Dismisses New Poll Numbers.”

But increasingly, the freshman senator from Florida is drawing the spotlight as Republicans sift through a field of hopefuls for a candidate they believe can win.

He has overtaken Bush, his one-time mentor, and he is offering establishment-minded Republicans an alternative to the three outsider candidates — Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina — who have, in very different ways, dominated the campaign.

“He’s been a lot of people’s second choice for a long time,” said Doug Gross, an unaligned longtime Republican consultant in Iowa, a former gubernatorial nominee, and former Mitt Romney adviser. “With [Wisconsin Governor Scott] Walker getting out, and Bush underperforming, there’s an opportunity for him. I get the sense that he’s trying to step it up right now to take advantage of that opportunity.”


See: Walking Away From the Presidential Campaign

I pretty much have. 

Rubio jumped from seventh place to fourth place in a recent CNN national poll. A poll of Florida voters showed that he was ahead of Bush in their home state.

One of the biggest developments is a recent CNN poll in New Hampshire that shows Rubio in third place — trailing only Trump and Fiorina — even though he has been there less than almost any other candidate.

N.H hates it when you don't glad hand, at least that is what the Globe has told me. 

Rubio is heading to New Hampshire this week for a two-day trip....

“He’s having the benefit of a honeymoon period now,” a large upside, but at a time when voters are deeply disenchanted with Washington, he is a sitting US senator....


Did you see his campaign bus?

"Marco Rubio doesn’t dwell on lack of experience; Says vision, plan for country’s future will prevail" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  October 07, 2015

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Granite State crowds couldn’t get enough of the charismatic man with a compelling life story, a boyish face, and an eager smile.

The candidate was....

The candidate is....

Marco Rubio.

He is surging in the polls, thanks to Scott Walker dropping out of the race, Jeb Bush struggling to inspire, and a yearning for a strong alternative to Donald Trump.

Walker's 2% helped him surge? Or is this just a BS political narrative? 

As for the alternatives, Carson and Fiorina's collective 40% means nothing?


“A good old Trump stunt just doesn’t generate the media attention that it used to — even on social media,” said Anthony York, an analyst at Zignal Labs. Although the New York real estate developer still leads the Republican field in polls, Trump’s ability to command both voter and news media attention is starting to wane. Many of the mainstream outlets favored by the Republican establishment — most notably the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal — have always greeted Trump’s candidacy with a critical, if not disdainful eye. That discomfort has spread to the news media that speak to the populist base of the Republican Party. Fox News commentators no longer go on breathlessly about his antics, and conservative talk-radio shows have moved on to fawn over Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. “It’s kind of a like a season of TV shows — eventually people burn out on them,” said Erick Erickson, a conservative commentator who runs “We’ve had a season of Trump and the plot hasn’t changed, there’s no new twist, and people are starting to move on to other TV shows.”

Look, Trump is STALE and the CAMPAIGN REALLY is a TV SHOW!!

But Rubio is facing resistance from some in his party who have made unflattering comparisons to Obama in 2008, another freshman senator criticized for being young and inexperienced — and widely loathed throughout his presidency by the activist Republican base.

That's high praise! He became president.

Rubio rejects the comparison.

“Barack Obama didn’t fail as president because he was a senator, or because he’d only been in politics for a couple of years,” Rubio said in an interview Wednesday. “He failed because his ideas don’t work. He now has seven years of executive presidential experience, and he’s still a disaster.”

As was the man before him, and the man before him, and the man before him, and so on. 

“The most important thing is, do you have a vision for the future and a plan to get us there, and can you inspire and rally the American people to that cause,” he added. “And I feel like our campaign is built on that.”

That's a shot at Jeb!

While not acknowledging the parallels, Rubio and his team are betting that Republicans are underestimating Rubio’s ability to topple the GOP candidate from a storied political family, Bush, just as Obama was underestimated in his ability to upend a dynastic candidate in 2008, Hillary Clinton.

It's a good narrative script, isn't it? Has Rubio already been selected by the PTB?

Like Obama, Rubio has a message infused with an inspiring life story of overcoming economic barriers and family struggles. Neither fits neatly into any single political box, allowing them to appeal to wide swaths of the electorate with an ill-defined call for change.

Rubio’s stump speeches are almost exclusively forward-looking, as he articulates his policy-heavy plans for developing a more muscular stance on foreign policy, lowering corporate taxes, and overhauling the nation’s approach to vocational schools and higher education. On his New Hampshire swing this week, he barely mentioned his own political history.

“He’s like Ronald Reagan. He cracks jokes. He lingers and talks to voters. He often brings up his parents as an inspirational life story, the son of immigrants....,” and boot-licker to Israel.


Despite his status as an incumbent senator, Rubio is attempting to tap into a vein of discontent with Washington — pursuing the same disaffected voters who are drawn to candidates like Trump and Fiorina.

“We are stuck with politicians who are stuck in the past,” he says.

But Rubio may also have distanced himself from Washington too much. He has been dogged in recent days by questions over missed Senate votes.

He has missed almost 30 percent of the votes taken this year. Over the course of his nearly five-year Senate career, he has missed 11 percent, according to GovTrack, giving him the worst career absentee record among current senators, including two other presidential hopefuls, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

It’s becoming an issue on the campaign trail, with several New Hampshire voters saying they were bothered by it. And Bush has started suggesting that if senators don’t fulfill their responsibilities in Washington, their pay should be docked.

Rubio, appearing exasperated by the issue, told reporters that he had a more important job to do than listening to Senate debates and voting on legislation: run for president.

“When I miss a vote or time in Washington, it’s not because I’m on vacation,” he said. “It’s because I’m running for president. . . . In my 4½ years there I’ve been deeply frustrated at the lack of progress on any major issue.”

A review of his legislation reveals that only one bill in which Rubio was the chief sponsor has been signed by the president: The Girls Count Act of 2015, which aims to help parents in developing countries register and obtain birth certificates for newborn daughters.

Of the 270 pieces of legislation that Rubio was the chief sponsor of, only 15 were agreed to in the Senate and most of those were not exactly sweeping in nature.

Every year he files a bill to designate September as “National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month,” and it passes with no debate. He has twice sponsored resolutions congratulating the Miami Heat on winning the NBA championship, and this year a resolution recognizing the “importance and inspiration of the Hubble Space Telescope.”

Doing good work and earning that taxpayer-subsidized job.