Is this Florida Sen. Marco’s “moment?” Brent Budowsky, writing in The Hill, concludes: it well could be. And his reasoning is indeed sound, if his language is (quite corretly) blunt (as is his accuracy):
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) is the most interesting GOP presidential candidate in the 2016 field, a field that is becoming a party embarrassment and will soon have more candidates than FIFA has indicted officials.
The Republican Party’s new symbol should really be an elephant with a red face.
It includes candidates who are egotistical vanity players, unelectable rightist ideologues, talk show wannabes and book sale promoters, and it features only one woman, whose only qualification is a failed tenure as a CEO and whose only purpose in the campaign would be to act as the female Republican stalking the female Democrat who could be America’s first female president.
Yes, so far the group above cannot be call The Greatest Generation of a Republican Presidential nomination buffet. But, I agree with Budowsky here in particular:
May 2015 was when Rubio clearly entered the top tier of GOP candidates. June 2015 can be his moment. He has achieved a significant national audience and will be closely watched by political insiders, Republicans in key states, media commentators and interested voters to determine whether he has the stature, depth and gravitas to lead the nation.
Last time he was watched closely and considered the wave of the future was when he was picked to deliver the rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech. But the wave dissipated when he took a big gulp…of bottle water…during his remarks.
Budowsky perfectly summarizes the Clinton/Bush Empires Strike Back narrative as well:
Far too much has been made by pundits of “the Bushes against the Clintons.” Like most overused cliches, this entirely misses the essential point of presidential politics in 2016.
American voters, bless their hearts, want two things that are difficult to reconcile in one presidential candidate. They want a president who embodies real and powerful change from a political status quo that has been widely discredited, and they want experience in governing that will reassure them the next president will have the right stuff to expertly lead a complicated government and manage an imperfect economy in a dangerous world.
For our purpose today, let’s consider Marco Rubio versus Jeb Bush in the Republican contest, and Marco Rubio versus Hillary Clinton in a potential general election match-up.
Rubio is moving to stake out solid ground as the demographically appealing voice of a next-generation Republican who is young, respected, Hispanic and aspires to be known as the voice of the future.
Clinton has seized the solid ground of a demographically appealing leader of high competence and vast experience — as a former first lady and closest confidante of a very successful president, as a former U.S. senator and as secretary of State. She is one of the most admired women in America and throughout the world.
And he gives the most perfect description of Jeb Bush to date:
By contrast, Bush reminds me of the Beatles song about the nowhere man. He is perceived by voters as neither the next-generation voice of change, compared with Rubio, nor the vastly qualified voice of experience, compared with Clinton.
The challenge for Rubio is to cross the divide and prove that the next-generation candidate of dynamism and change with potentially powerful appeal to Hispanics and young voters possesses presidential-caliber experience to make voters feel confident, safe and secure, a threshold he is far from crossing today.
But he seems far more likely to cross it then the rest of the GOP pack which seems to have crossed a threshold:
The threshold to climb into a clown car.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.