Is Marco Rubio the Favorite for GOP in 2016?

Marco Rubio CPAC. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Our Take!

Ever since Sen. Rubio made the grave error of going against his base on a meaningless immigration bill that ended up dying in Congress, he’s been on the outs with most conservatives. That is, until very recently, when conservatives started looking around the preverbal room and realizing that there aren’t any legitimate challengers to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Does anyone really believe Jeb Bush can win? How about Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? Realistically, Ben Carson could have a better chance than all of them, and he has no chance at all! Marco Rubio is THE best chance for a conservative (or at least a conservative-leaning) president anytime in the near future, and he’s the only candidate currently out there right now who can beat Hillary. It seems as though many big-time insiders are starting to see the picture I’ve painted here as well, as evidenced by Ms. Johnson’s article in the National Review.

By Eliana Johnson
Are we on the cusp of a Rubio moment? “Everybody’s talking about Rubio.” So says a top Republican operative who’s been in touch with nearly every potential presidential campaign, as well as with several top donors.
Jeb Bush’s announcement in December launched both a fundraising juggernaut and an aggressive hiring spree, and Scott Walker’s speech in Iowa the following month lifted Walker to the top of national polls. But a little more than a month later, says the operative, “The Jeb boom is over and people are having second thoughts about Walker.”
The beneficiary in terms of buzz is Marco Rubio, who now has many of the party’s top donors looking at him in a way they weren’t even a month ago. Though Rubio hasn’t made as much noise as his competitors as the 2016 campaign has gotten underway in earnest, his knowledgeable presentations and obvious political talent are nonetheless turning heads or, at least, enough of them. Rubio hasn’t made a big splash, neither building a “shock and awe” campaign like Bush nor delivering a marquee speech like Walker (who afterward seemed almost to be caught off guard by his rapid ascent). Instead, Rubio appears to be gambling on the idea that, in what is sure to be a long primary with a crowded field, a slow-and-steady approach will prevail.
The buzz about Rubio comes on the heels of a successful but nonetheless low-profile book tour that took him through the early-primary states of Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire, and as the frenetic motion around Bush and Walker has begun to subside. Bush’s announcement left many conservatives searching for an alternative to the establishment candidate, and Walker has at times looked like he could fill that space. But he has stumbled a couple of times before the press and displayed some shakiness on policy issues. READ MORE …
[Published by National Review]
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