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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Marco 2024?

"What if the whole idea is for Rubio to be this election's John Edwards? He runs a respectable presidential campaign, being careful not to be too mean to the guy who wins, and then he gets chosen as that person's running mate. After all, he must know that he'd be a terrific VP pick. Youthful, Hispanic, from a key swing state — it's hard to think of a Republican who checks more boxes. So while he may have only a 20 percent chance of getting the nomination, he's probably got a 50 percent chance of being the running mate."

Of all the Republican candidates this year, Rubio is the only one who has a future as a candidate should he fail to secure the nomination this year. Whoever wins the nomination gets the nod in 2020, unless he loses in November. If Rubio is not nominated, he is young enough to run again in 2020 or 2024. While Ted Cruz is, too, but he has ticked off too much of the party principals in Washington. Also, much of the base of his support is the same Evangelical Christian movement that passed on its previous champions, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Someone else may catch the movement's fancy next time.

Rubio has run a positive campaign without sucking up like Edwards. A Trump/Rubio or Kasich/Rubio ticket would improve his odds of gaining the presidency (almost one in three vice presidents becomes president either by succeeding the president, or running later like Jefferson, Nixon and Bush 41). Of course, losing ends his presidential ambitions. FDR remains the only losing vice presidential candidate to win the presidency later.

But even if he is not on the ticket, he is setting himself up for a future race. John Hudak, a fellow in government studies at Brookings Institution, the public policy think tank in Washington, D.C., said in April 2015: "Rubio won't be that formidable in 2016, but in 2024 I bet he is, and he is going to learn a lot from this run."

Reagan, Bush 41, Dole, McCain and Romney are examples of the runner-up from a previous race winning the nomination the next time around.

There is some sense in that. Rubio is not a very good candidate this time. He is not igniting a fire among voters. Ross Douthat wrote before the Iowa caucus: "Nobody’s sure why. Rubio has various weaknesses, but he’s well liked by Republican voters, he polls very well against Hillary Clinton, and nothing scandalous has emerged to derail him. Yet here we are just days from Iowa, and prominent Republicans are variously frustrated and confused, resigning themselves to Trump-versus-Cruz or attempting complicated bank shots to take one or both of them out … instead of doing what many people expected and simply rallying to Rubio."

We shall see. But win, lose, or draw, Rubio has a clear shot at being the first Hispanic nominated by Republicans. If not this year, then in 2020 or 2024.


  1. Rubio's flip-flop on amnesty for illegals has alienated too many voters for him to capture the Republican nomination this time. Four or eight years from today, people might not remember that depending, of course, on whether the next administration can deal successfully with the issue of illegals in the country and help to diffuse the polarization that now exists over immigration. I think it's a foregone conclusion the next president will serve only one term. Hillary, Bernie, or Joe---whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be---will be too old to run or be re-elected in 2020. If Trump becomes the Republican nominee and is elected, I think it's almost inevitable he'll get bored with the job and, having accomplished what he wanted, he will choose not to run for re-election. 2020 will therefore be Rubio's best shot at the Oval Office as long as he can manage to remain in the public eye, build his resume and stature, and avoid becoming another charicature like Sarah Palin.

  2. Rubio is going nowhere unless our current immigration laws are stringently and robustly enforced to the point where the problem is solved. - Elric

  3. he got to Washington and immediately set out to give amnesty to illegals. He called people who disagreed racists. He acted like a Democrat. He simply isn't trustworthy on that issue, despite his apparent return to his original position. the problem is too many Republicans are against illegal immigration during election season and can't wait to legalize them during the rest of the time. We're tired of it. Give us someone who won't sell out the country.

  4. Yeah. Rubio is our John Edwards, except it isn't women he has a history of having affairs with.

  5. "Reagan, Bush 41, Dole, McCain and Romney..." Three of them lost and one won solely on his predecessors coat tails. The three losers got the nomination because of the Republican's worst trait of picking nominees "because it's their turn." I'm not seeing the appeal. This makes the case that if they sucked once, they'll probably suck twice. Ergo, don't try to cook the egg twice.

  6. In other words...if Rubio doesn't make it this time, he needs to go find another line of work because apparently he's already announced he doesn't like being a senator.

  7. Being Veep would not erase the memory of Gang of 8.

    That said, I think you have something going, nonetheless. A solid 8 years of Conservative work in the Senate, standing up for all the right things, just might rehabilitate his image enough to give him another chance.



  8. "...John Hudak, a fellow in government studies..."
    I've been wondering for years: Is "fellow" one step above, or one step below "dude."