Thoughts on Marco Rubio For Vice President
by Tom Donelson on March 7, 2012 at 7:35 PM
2012 is one of those crucial elections, and every vote counts. So the question remains, who should be the Vice President nominee for the Republican Presidential candidate? If you would have asked me about Marco Rubio three months ago, I would have said his time has yet to come. Today, I will say that whoever wins the Republican nomination will need an individual who hails from a crucial state, has charisma to excite the base and represent the future of the Republican Party. That is Marco Rubio.
The Republicans are blessed with many qualified men to be Vice President, beginning with Mitch Daniels who can help carry the Midwest and has a resume that is unassailable, but what Daniels provides in competency, he lacks in charisma. Daniels would help the ticket as he will not only carry Indiana, but he could make serious inroads throughout the rust belt with a record of job growth in a Midwest state. There is Bob McDonnell, but like Christie and Rubio, he has been in the public eye for only two years and barely at that. But as the governor of a key swing state, Virginia, he has one important quality in his favor. He is also proven to be both popular and effective as governor, but like Daniels, competency may not triumph charisma.
Let's deal with the disadvantages of a Rubio Vice-Presidency nomination, the first being, Rubio has been in the Senate for only two years and for many Americans, he is still unknown. The left and the Democrats will attempt to do to Rubio what they did to Sarah Palin with the politics of personal destruction. The Democrats are beginning their anti-Rubio campaign, and Rubio has already learned one lesson from the Palin candidacy. He hit back hard and quickly when negative news or lies popped up. Most recently, he insisted that an “ethics violation” be investigated and dropped as he understood that the left and Democrats will file ethics complaints simply to tie him up while forcing him to defend himself on multiple fronts just as they did with Palin. During a morning session of MSNBC morning, former McCain campaign consultant Steve Schmidt admitted that a scene in the upcoming HBO movie Game Change in which he advised Palin not to fight back was true. What the GOP must learn is that any attacks on Rubio must be confronted and in brutal fashion in a take no prisoner style. Rubio must also convince the public that he can be President if something happens to the President. Can a Senator who has been in Washington just two years be considered ready for prime time?
Rubio has the following going for him. He was the Speaker of the House in the Florida Legislature, a major role in a major state, and he wasn’t just a back bencher voting present like President Obama was in Illinois. Rubio has appeared to be a quick learner in the ways of Washington. As a member of the committee on Foreign Relations, he is learning the intricacies of foreign affairs. There are two primary reasons to have Rubio on board, the first being he is from a key battleground state, Florida. He will help the Republicans take Florida. The second is his ability to explain free market ideas as a son of immigrants as he can communicate conservative ideas to the public, in particular, the Hispanic audience.
One reason that the left fears Rubio is that he can communicate Republican ideas to Hispanics, and remember, the left needs Hispanics to vote not only in greater numbers than in 2008, but a higher percentage than in 2010 congressional elections. Republicans don’t need to win a majority of Hispanics, only a higher number than in 2008 and close to what they did in 2004; numbers that are in reach.
Rubio is the perfect Vice-President nomination for either Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney for he has appeal to the Tea Party, selected minorities, and he can talk the principles of conservativism naturally, something that Mitt Romney has problems with. The Republicans are deep in talent when it comes to the selection for Vice President, but it may be this year for our first Hispanic Vice President.