Earlier this year Marco Rubio was hailed as the “savior” of the Republican Party and many of us in the Party thought that he just might be. He is smart, young, articulate, and many times when he speaks he evokes the essence of Reagan and makes us, as Republicans, stand up a little straighter with the pride of knowing that he is (was) ours.
Then seemingly out of nowhere something changed. Marco Rubio went from being a Tea Party favorite who had gone to Washington to change the status quo to being a Washington “insider” and what many are calling a RINO (Republican in Name Only). When and why did this happen?
As for why, we can only surmise that it all points to his involvement in the Gang of Eight and their immigration reform bill. While I have long praised Rubio for understanding that something needs to be done about the immigration policies in America, I was shocked when he helped craft and strongly supported the “Obamacare” of immigration reform. The immigration bill crafted by this group of Senators fails to address the real problems in our immigration system and rather it exacerbates our current immigration problems and adds to them substantially by making the bureaucratic red-tape thicker and more impermeable for those wanting to come here legally. Worst of all, it fails to make the border truly secure. Even though Rubio as recently as last month said he would not vote for the bill in its current form, he still voted for the bill when it came before the Senate in all of its backroom deals and cronyism glory. Unfortunately, this seemed to prove what many of us had feared–that he is little more than the quintessential politician, willing to play the game of quid pro quo to ensure that his future in politics will always be secure.
The problem with Marco Rubio playing the game of insider politics is that the voters, who voted to send him to Washington, sent him there to change Washington, not to become a star player in the game of Washington politics. In a recent poll, Rubio’s support among conservatives had dropped significantly following the release of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill and without conservative support he has little chance of keeping his Senate seat and even less of a chance of becoming the presidential nominee. Marco Rubio also has another problem on the horizon. Former Congressman Allen West has indicated that he is open to the possibility of running against Rubio in the next Florida Senate primary. Also, his political problems will only become more serious if he continues to lose the support of conservatives and instead garners the praises of Senate Democrats such as Chuck Schumer.
Altogether, these problems are a good indicator that his chances of winning the 2016 presidential nomination just got a whole lot smaller. In the most recent Iowa caucus poll, Rubio had dropped from 1st to 5th place in regards to who would win this early and crucial presidential primary.
Rubio and his advisers know that his political career is in major trouble following the Gang of Eight immigration debacle. According to a just published Politico article profiling Rubio’s immigration problem, Rubio consultant, Todd Harris, ignored eight days of calls and emails from Politico requesting insight for the article they were preparing to publish. When they finally did reach him his response was anything but enthusiastic with him saying “to be honest, another story about Marco and immigration is not high on Christmas list!!” The Politico story went on to say that this response was no surprise:
“The very issue Rubio (and Harris) thought would be a game-changing, legacy-builder looks like a big liability for the Florida senator, at least right now. In the process, the self-confident presidential hopeful suddenly looks wobbly, even a little weak, as he searches for what’s next.”
So what is next for Marco Rubio? Is he a lost cause? For our sake, I hope not. He still has all of the admirable qualities that he had in the beginning and could do a lot of good for our country and the conservative movement if he is willing to get back to his roots. Unfortunately, he has seemingly been sucked into the abyss that is Washington politics and his sudden change has caused many of us to reevaluate whether any politician, when sent to Washington, can withstand that intoxicating drug called Power.
Personally, I have only seen a couple of politicians who have been able to fit those criteria. Now we can only hope that at some point our trust can be renewed in some of the rising stars that are currently in Congress; otherwise, we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how we as citizens can change the way our elected officials are allowed to conduct business in what has become the most corrupt place on earth–Washington D.C.