The Pulse shooting in Orlando was a tragedy of the highest magnitude. It also exposed the potential for a rapid Rubio reboot as Florida’s Junior Senator who at the time was not a candidate for reelection. Rubio’s adroit handling of the shooting and exploitation of it as an excuse to run for reelection was something out of Shakespearean tragedy. Since June, Rubio has tackled Florida issues – algae bloom, Zika and now Hurricane Matthew with an inauthentic gusto. This after all is a pol so ambitious that the coming Hurricane which days later he would exploit didn’t stop him from attempting to raise money. Rubio’s born-again Floridian attitude has spooked Democrats pushing the party away from Patrick Murphy and perhaps towards the Junior Senator himself.
Some active Democrats around Florida have bought into the convenient talking point that Rubio isn’t as bad as Donald Trump. Quite frankly it depends on your perspective in my opinion – they are both bad in different ways…Trump is a misogynistic buffon who might start a damaging trade war with China. Rubio on the other hand is a polished, pre-programmed neoconservative who probably will start a shooting war involving American troops somewhere in parts currently unknown.
Democrats as a party can never be accused of thinking long-term or analytically about politics. They simply react and play a short-term numbers game. The decision to fold up Murphy and tacitly back Rubio (because that is what it is) has incredible ramifications down the road. But the decision is typical of the short-term fly by seat of your pants approach the Democrats employ. This is the approach that has left the party at its lowest ebb nationally when you talk about the number of state and local officials since the 1920s and without a discernible bench for major campaigns.
Rubio has been the beneficiary now in both of his Senate elections of Democratic campaign malpractice. The 2010 US Senate campaign represented a low water mark for an already inept party – the overt backing of an independent candidate who had been elected Governor as a Republican over a progressive established African-American member of Congress who was the party’s nominee. But now, 2016 isn’t far behind. Murphy was painted as a star of the Democratic Party in Florida, but the second Rubio announced he was seeking to hold his seat, prominent Democrats began running for cover. Murphy’s goose was cooked at that point. He was extremely useful to party insiders to take down Alan Grayson in the primary (though Grayson did much of that himself) but when forced to go to the mat for him against Rubio, they failed him.
As I told Politco’s Marc Caputo, Rubio now quickly reemerges as a contender for 2020:
“If Murphy doesn’t beat Marco Rubio, it will rehabilitate Rubio’s career, which looked over when Trump beat him. It’s critical to keep Rubio out of office and becoming a future GOP nominee down the road,” Krishnaiyer said. “It’s really a stunning thing they’re not thinking down the road. But we have to expect that from DC Democrats.”
Hillary Clinton will be elected President. She is also unlikely to have anything approaching majority support in the country and potential Republican opposition for 2020 could begin the coalesce quickly. The GOP having made a fatal mistake with Donald Trump will quite possibly rig the game for 2020 to nominate the person they feel could most unite the party, hoodwink the media and create positive vibes around conservative and neoconservative messaging. I have no doubt that person will be Marco Rubio. Clinton will be seen by many politically as an accidental president, and the way the GOP often acts even as an illegitimate one. Rubio is likely to emerge quickly as the spokesperson for the “government in exile” that the GOP will push through FOX News, Newsmax, The Weekly Standard, and other conservative media outlets.
Democrats both here in Florida and in DC have a lot to apologize for – that list will grow with a potential Rubio reelection. In four years time let us hope they are not apologizing to the world for thrusting a cynical neoconservative pol on the world in the form of GOP nominee and potential President Marco Rubio. Here in Florida don’t expect to see much of Rubio after November 8. He got what he needed out of tragedy and our suffering here in the Sunshine State – now it’s back to greener pastures for him.