I have to amend an earlier prediction. Months ago, I predicted that Marco Rubio was the best choice Mitt Romney had for a vice presidential candidate–the only real question was what was in it for Rubio. My argument was that Rubio is young, attractive, well spoken, has solid credentials with the rabid, tea party base, is an up-and-coming star in the party, and is Hispanic, giving Romney some much needed support among a demographic where he’s vulnerable. I posted this in response to another blog post where some guy who does this for a living was suggesting Jan Brewer–which was either a warped joke or a case of massively flawed political analysis. Seriously, about the only move Romney could make that would be dumber than nominating Jan Brewer would be introducing Paco.
Rubio has said that he doesn’t want the nomination, but he could be playing coy. On the other hand, he’s shown himself to be a fairly adept politician, and it is altogether possible that he really does have no interest in riding the U.S.S. Romney Campaign to the bottom of the ocean. That said, I still think he could be talked into it. Of the available vice presidential candidates, Rubio is the one I least wanted to see get tapped for the job. Apparently, the Obama campaign was also less than thrilled at the prospect, because Friday Obama announced that he was going to observe an immigration policy that was totally his own idea, and that he didn’t borrow from anybody else, particularly a Senator from a swing state whose name rhymes with “park no studio”.
While it’s not conclusive, at this point it pretty much marks the end of Marco Rubio’s shot at getting the vice presidential selection. Since the Republican reaction to anything Obama says or does is to automatically object and treat it like the worst idea anybody every had, ever, and wring hands over the inevitable collapse of the Union that is sure to follow, Obama has successfully nullified any advantage Rubio could have brought to the table. Well played.
Years from now, Rubio will look back on this as the time that he didn’t accept that free boarding pass on the airliner that smashed into a mountain. Romney still shows no sign of any serious effort to win this election, though he has been vigorously campaigning to win the votes of everyone already firmly in the bag. If it ever occurs to anybody on his campaign staff that there are voters yet to be convinced, who haven’t already made up their minds, this could turn into an actual race. For now, Romney seems content to stay in the kiddie pool, surrounded only by people for whom “Republican”, and “white” are sufficient. Mitt Romney is headed for the biggest blowout since his last birthday cake.