Marco Rubio cast a vote against the UN Disabilities Treaty today. The treaty supported by Senator John McCain and former Majority Leader Bob Dole among other Republicans went down to defeat today by failing to 2/3 majority vote in the US Senate. Rubio’s public moves reflect more and more posturing towards the conservative and isolationist Iowa Republican Caucasus electorate. One wonders with Rubio’s posture currently if he will continue to be a Republican spokesman for comprehensive immigration reform or if he will shy away from it in deference to the Iowa electorate.
A few weeks ago, I wrote the following about Rubio and Iowa:
The challenge for Rubio is to somehow keep the Republican Party desperate for him while continuing to play his cards correctly with BOTH national Republican power brokers/media elites AND the fundamentalist Iowa caucus goers. The Iowa Caucus winners on the GOP side include the televangelist Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. To say Iowa, a largely Democratic state at the Presidential level has a religious dominated Republican caucus is a major understatement. Rubio has to show he can connect with this important base of Iowa voters if he is to get a ticket to New Hampshire in 2016.
Previous Republican “flavors of the month” have fizzled out almost entirely. After Obama’s first election Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was the presumptive 2012 frontrunner. Then he gave his State of the Union response and has been under a rock ever since. A year later it was Chris Christie and we know how Republicans feel today about him. Remember after the 1994 election when Pete Wilson was going to be the GOP savior? Heck, the Republicans even awarded San Diego, where Wilson had been Mayor the 1996 convention because he was going to be the nominee! Well Wilson’s race-baiting cost the GOP California for a generation and hastened the movement of Latino voters to the Democrats. Wilson himself didn’t last long in the 1996 Presidential Race and has been quietly marginalized since.
Today, Rubio took another step towards the Iowa caucus goers with his vote on the UN treaty. Jeb Bush’s potential candidacy is a threat to Rubio and I have no doubt that should Governor Bush seek the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, that Rubio would defer to him. Perhaps if this happens, Rubio can return to being a US Senator and serving Florida’s interests rather than his own.
Having watched Marco Rubio closely in the State House, I believe he is more politically savvy than the bozos listed above but who knows if lady luck will smile on him in a few years time. But one thing is for certain, Rubio can control certain elements of his likeability and electability. Jeb Bush notwithstanding, just weeks into the “Rubio is the GOP savior” era, the Florida Senator is playing his political cards well. Now let’s see if this continues.