Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio will soon add his name to the list

By Richard K. Barry

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is getting ready to announce his plans to run for the GOP presidential nomination with the only unknown being where and when. 

Aides to the senator don't deny reports first published late Friday by the Tampa Bay Times that he's reserved space at Miami's iconic Freedom Tower for a possible announcement on the afternoon of April 13. A team of Rubio advisers is traveling to Miami next week to put finishing touches on the anticipated rollout — and their tasks will include picking the spot where the senator and his family can make the announcement.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced last week and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is expected to jump in on April 7th. 
Rubio is polling well in surveys of Republicans in early primary states and among GOP voters nationally. While former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have been actively campaigning in recent weeks ahead of the start of their formal campaigns, Rubio has kept his head down, focusing instead on his formal Senate duties, including holding hearings on the deteriorating situation in Venezuela and introducing legislation relaxing gun restrictions in the District of Columbia.

In what Charlie Cook calls Conservative Bracketology, he identifies a number categories for potential GOP presidential candidates including "Secular/Conventional," "Social, Cultural, Evangelical," "Tea Party Populist," and "Establishment." I'm sure you can figure out who belong where. 

As for the last-mentioned bracket, and Rubio's chances, Cook writes this:
The Establishment bracket consists of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. (Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki will be in this bracket, too—if they manage to put together viable campaigns.) Bush remains the unquestioned leader, but if the conventional wisdom is wrong anywhere (and I admit to being very conventional most of the time), it might be in underestimating Rubio's potential. While there may not be enough room or money in this bracket for two Florida Republicans with moderate records on immigration, the senator is smart, attractive, and potentially more charismatic than any of the others. If Rubio were to move up, it would be more about personal appeal and political skill than ideological positioning.

Perhaps, but Rubio seems far too light-weight to be taken seriously (and about 12 years old), but I suppose he could, as Cook writes, "move up."

Whatever else may be true, I am willing to bet the "Establishment" category yields the eventual nominee. 


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