Arguably my biggest opposition to then-Senator Obama’s presidential candidacy was his inexperience. He was young and naïve; he made ridiculous proclamations, like deciding that president-level meetings with Iran with no pre-conditions could actually help deter the increasingly aggressive Iranian nuclear program. He had been a legislator for less than one half of one term and spent most of that time campaigning for the presidency. Beyond all that, he would have made a great vice-president. He was inspiring and ideological, unafraid to attack his opponents but crafty in his attacks. He could have been the key to sixteen Democratic years in the White House.
That said, I think first-term Republican Senator Marco Rubio should consider running for President of the United States. Governor Romney is too much of a flip-flopper (he changes his views politically, not pragmatically). Speaker Gingrich makes policy suggestions that surpass audacity onto borderline-stupidity. Bachmann and Palin should not bother running. Pawlenty and Daniels are strong relative to the others, but neither is jaw-droppingly impressive. Moreover, Barack Obama will be a two-term president. His job approval ratings during late March have ranged from 3 points short of 50% to 5 points long of 50% and he has hardly begun to campaign. In case anybody forgot, President Obama is debatably the best orator and campaigner of our time.
Republican strategist and No Labels cofounder Mark McKinnon, among others, has asserted that Marco Rubio will be the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 2012. He is clearly an attractive running mate: Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (no small feat); he is a seemingly-pragmatic, respected, conservative senator from a state with more than 25 electoral votes and that is home to the 2012 Republican National Convention; his personal story is as impressive Barack Obama’s; Rubio is almost as adept a speaker as the president (the keyword is “almost”); he is a brilliant campaigner, apparent in his destruction of Governor Charlie Crist’s senatorial campaign; he is Hispanic, and the Republican Party could desperately use a strong Spanish-speaking figurehead; and, he is incredibly bright. His short tenure in the Senate has been skilled.
Next to Lindsey Graham and, sometimes, Tom Coburn and, very rarely, a few others, Marco Rubio might be the strongest pragmatic conservative holding Federal office. Rubio could shift the debate and would likely put forth the greatest intellectual and inspirational challenge to Barack Obama. Nonetheless, Senator Rubio’s apparent restraint is impressive and testament to his commitment to the people of Florida and to his job.
If Marco Rubio does not run for the presidency in 2012, he could face the likes of John Thune and other young, popular Republicans in 2016. This could be his time to shine.
Marco Rubio would have to choose a running mate with significant foreign policy experience and could only be running mate to somebody with foreign policy experience. The ideal possible ticket, in my opinion, could be Huntsman/Rubio, but it seems each is resistant to run. It also should be noted that Rubio is not infallible and does, like all of the potential candidates, carry some baggage. Finally, I don’t think physical appearance should have any influence in a candidate’s political appearance, but Marco Rubio might be the only person in the country with ears as big as Barack Obama’s. In my own defense, this article is limited to the present circumstances, and the present circumstances only. Next time a half-term United States Senator (furthermore a conservative) is suggested as a presidential candidate, don’t expect my support.