Photo of the day

From the National Geographic Found Tumblr:

Four entwined cobras, 1970. Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic Creative


The case for Rubio

Sure, Rubio is completely static in the polls (hey, he could be Jeb or Scott Walker).  But here’s the case Jamelle Bouie made a couple weeks ago, and I still think it’s a good one:

For as much as Romney struggled against conservative enthusiasm for vanity candidates, he also held a steady place in the polls, with strong fundraising and a solid, professional organization. Romney wasn’t the first choice for the majority of Republican primary voters, but he was the firstalternate for when everyone’s various infatuations died down…

But votes are just one part of this game; you need party support too, and that’s just not in the cards for either Trump or Carson. Both will eventually fade from view—or at least the Republican nominating process—as voters start the more serious search for a nominee. The problem, this time, is that there isn’t a Romney—an obvious choice for consolidation who is on the steady march to inevitability. Instead, there’s a collection of “plausible” candidates who all seem too flawed to succeed…

[Nice section on the flaws of Bush, Walker, and Kasich follows]

The only “plausible” candidate left—someone to bridge the gaps among all party factions—is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. What he lacks in Bush’s money or Walker’s electoral success he has in raw talent: Rubio is the most gifted communicator of the field, with enough savvy to avoid Trump’s traps. He doesn’t engage Trump on immigration or try to swat him away. Instead, he talks policy, tries to distinguish himself with substance, and marches toward his goal.

Rubio, in other words, has the simple combination of discipline and message—movement conservatism, shorn of its roughest edges—that leads to victory. He, put differently, is the closet candidate in the field to the last election’s Romney. If I were a Republican donor or activist trying to make a decision, I’d give the young senator another look.

No, Rubio has not made any great movement in the polls.  But if you believe that it is almost impossible (almost, mind you) for Trump or Carson to win the nomination without institutional support, Rubio strikes me as the most plausible alternative right now.  And I also think some cooler heads will see Rubio as a way to help undo some of the damage with Hispanics that Trump is currently wreaking.

In fact, if Intrade were still around, I’d be awfully tempted to bet on Rubio for the nomination.  I’m sure you can get great odds.  (And here’s a great NPR story about the history of betting on politics).

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