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What’s Next for Marco Rubio?

Marco Rubio’s concession speech went on and on and on and on. Yes, of course, it was also covering the fact that he was dropping out of the race, but how long can that take? Seriously. The only thing Rubio didn’t repeat is his most often repeated phrase, “When I’m president.”

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If you have time, here’s the entire 13 minute-34 second speech.

As I sat in my car, waiting to get out, I listened to all the same old lines from his campaign speeches. Again. And after he delivered the two messages, “I lost,” and “I’m quitting,” he just kept going. Why? Then it hit me. This was a job application.

Rubio didn’t run for re-election. He lost his run for president. Basically, in January, he’ll be unemployed. I wonder if he’ll put in a cameo in the senate? Sort of like the scene in the middle of the movie A Few Good Men, when Tom Cruise says, “so this is what a courtroom looks like.” Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Anyway, there was talk of having Rubio run for Governor in 2018. Really? Is it really reasonable that a “favorite son” could lose by 20 points in his own state and still have a future there? Donald Trump has been saying “they hate him down there. . .he couldn’t get elected dog catcher.”

Trump’s apparently right, according to his former allies:

It is widely anticipated that Marco Rubio is going to get shellacked on his home turf in Tuesday’s Florida presidential primary. A very unsympathetic Friday profile in the Tampa Bay Times suggests that part of the reason this is so is that Rubio’s entire career has consisted of sweet-talking influential individuals into giving him big opportunities only to drop those individuals like hot rocks when another better thing comes along.

The Daily Beast suggests that Rubio won on a Tea Party wave, but was now drowned by it:

“We’re going to have a sweet taste in our mouths tomorrow when little Marco gets embarrassed by those he betrayed. He betrayed all of Florida, but mostly he betrayed people like me who worked hard to get him elected,” said Dan Ray, a founding member of Tea Party group in The Villages, a large retirement community in Florida, where Rubio campaigned earlier this week.

In this discussion of candidates for governor, Rubio was dismissed out-of-hand:

Adam Putnam will be the Republican nominee Governor of Florida in 2018. Putnam would beat Rubio in the primary if Rubio even ran.

There are always precedents. Richard Nixon lost his run for the presidency in 1960. Then, he ran for governor in 1962, and was beaten again. That was when he made the infamous, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” speech.

HOWEVER, Nixon couldn’t sit still. It drove his wife, Pat, crazy. He ran across the nation, campaigning for anyone who would have him. He worked hard for Barry Goldwater’s presidential bid in 1964, and was also active for congressional candidates in 1966, as described here.

By the time 1968 came along, Nixon had accumulated a lot of “chits”–everybody owed Nixon something, so he quickly became the frontrunner for president, even after being a two-time loser, just a few years earlier.

In this case, Rubio could run for governor of Florida, lose, throw a tantrum, then go on the road. That could set him up to run in 2024, after the next President leaves office. He might have even developed some maturity/gravitas by then.

But that’s a long way off. That certainly wouldn’t explain Rubio’s marathon speech, now. Then, as noted above, I realized he’s not talking to his supporters. He’s talking to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. This was a speech meant to position him for a vice presidential bid.

Or, more realistically, a position in the administration. After all, he’ll be unemployed, and Hillary’s gig in the Obama administration seems to have boosted her respect. Then, the next time Rubio runs, Rick Santorum might be able to come up with at least one achievement of Rubio.

So, you tell us. For which administration position should Marco be nominated?

Goethe Behr :Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

View Comments (15)

  • In government - secretary of state or defense, but he could also start all over and become a congressmen and one day - the president.

  • I think Rubio is a great man. This post is completely biased and shouldnt even be up here. Clearly ehoever wrote this probably supports Trump who is not even a Conservative. I believe this nation should be strictly constitutional and straight for that. Trump changes his mind all the time. Crazy how good people get beat up. He should be able to be governor and/or president. He still has a chance btw its called the brokerd convention.

    • Hannah and Jan: Sorry I hurt your feelings. I didn't say Rubio had no potential. In fact, I said he might, when he is ready. It's not about age. It's about temperament.

      JFK was always in control. But he lost his veep bid, when he was 39, in 1956, against Estes Kefauver. He wasn't ready.

      William Jennings Bryan was 36 when he ran in 1896. He was a good orator, like Rubio. But he wasn't ready, and lost two more times after that.

      Harold Stassen was actually known as "The Boy Governor," but became a laughing stock. He ran too early in 1948, and then ran again in 1952, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992. He blew his chance because the first time, he wasn't ready.

      Rubio is too ambitious. He jumped from state politics to the UPPER house in Washington--and then has the WORST voting record in history.

      Rubio is an opportunist. He was elected as a Tea Party darling in 2010, but saw that he'd have a better chance painting himself as an establishment candidate.

      I totally agree that he delivers a good speech. He has a good voice. He knows how to do the dramatic pause. He knows how to connect with the audience. He can stay on-message. He has a lot of talent. But it takes away from the speech if you keep giving canned comments--like a mocking bird; act as nervous as a Chihuahua, and sweat like a pig.

      I've probably hurt your feelings again. Sorry. But "Little Marco's" main problem is that he wasn't ready.

      • I dont feel an apology at all from this. The fact that Rubio sweated once on stage and you call him a sweaty pig is completely crazy. Thanks Trump for saying "Little Marco" which resorts to again me saying you must be a Trump supporter. This country is a fool for following the Donald disease and will go down hill. You talk about Rubio taking a big step from going to senator to trying to be president when DONALD TRUMP HAS NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE he knows nothing and only has six policies for this country insane. This country isnt just some deal we have with others its our foundation of this great american country. But ill forgive you for your false comments on him and name calling because thats what it says in the bible. Also Rubio stated he was sorry for trying to insult trump but he gets no recognition for it. Trump still insults and is a rascist and makes fun of the mentally ill. Thats honestly awful we dont need his face as our president

          • No it really doesnt help. And its not his job application he did thank his followers and the party for getting him this far. He also emailed his campaign and volunteers. I think things on her should be more factual that opinionated js.

  • This is the worst commentary I have read on this site. Rubio's speech was the best I have heard in this election season and was short in comparison to a Cruz speech and conservative in comparison to a Trump cult speech where the Donald gives his followers more cool-aid to drink. Rubio is a tremendous talent for the GOP and has placed his future in God's hands. Despite this writer's claim to have listened to Rubio, he clearly didn't comprehend the message to his supporters to "not give in to fear and frustration." His heart is still passionate for this country, and even if he becomes a private citizen, as he sometimes mentioned, he will continue to be a tremendous resource and advocate. Also, he is a great husband and father in a world where many men have abandoned that role.

    • Jan, I think a lot of people agree with your analysis, especially Rubio supporters who saw the speech as a culmination of why he appeals to them. I think Rubio misjudged this as being a year where he could really do well, but perhaps it wasn't his time, Give him a few more years, let him develop, and he will probably come back, as Goethe stated, and take a commanding position somewhere in the party or in elected office.

      • Exactly Nate. You and others on here are very honest and honorable people. It wasn't his year. Too much hate going on every where for a decent man like Rubio to be successful.

        • "...decent man like Rubio..."

          Right.

          So decent he was forced to revise his official biography to reflect the fact that he'd lied about his parents' departure from Cuba.

          So decent that he lied saying that Cuba in 1958 was a democracy on its way to development and that the 1959 revolution was an “accident of history” all the while while knowing, from his own family history, that this was not quite so..

          Rubio has been part of a history in which the Cuban American right only supports the U.S. when it's convenient for their property claims and opposition to the Castro government.

          'Decent' is not a word I would use to describe him.

  • He's far too much the opportunist. Like the proverbial bad penny, he'll be back.

  • I thought his speech made it pretty clear what he thought of Trump, don't think he was courting a position in a Trump administration. Maybe with Cruz or Kasich, but his delegates are scattered now, what does he have to bargain with?

  • He can move back to Cuba now that we have a relationship with this country and its on a path to democracy.

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