The past few weeks, Marco Rubio’s name has been showing on top of the list of Republican aspirants for the seat of the presidency; in fact, the two most recent polls put Marco in the second position behind Trump, although by a large margin (10%+ as per the latest ranking). The reshuffling of the candidates is mostly due to a couple of factors, both of which are detrimental to the candidate who used to be number two, Ben Carson; a) the revelation of lies, inflated stories and downright fictional ones by Ben b) Dr. Carson’s lack of experience in foreign policy, almost in the same league as Sarah Palin when she became McCain’s running mate. All in all, no matter how you slice and dice the Republican pie, Ben Carson’s ascension to the top of the Republican ticket should be a scary matter for the Republican Party. Even absent of inflated and made-up stories, Ben Carson possesses no transferable skill to politics. A few comments from readers suggest that Carson is smart; – smarter than Trump, the comments suggested – no doubt Ben is very smart. However, his lack of political skills is very pronounced; anyone can learn so his shortcoming is not really the issue. Dr. Carson shows extreme resistance to adaptation, is very slow to “learning the ropes” and is much too “delusional” as far as his ability to be commander-in-chief. Although I usually abstain removing from my list any presidential candidate until I complete my analysis of all the candidates and weigh on the sentiment of the country, I have to make an exception this time. Dr. Carson is unequivocally not going to be the Republican nominee.
Which brings me back to Marco Rubio. Mr. Rubio is the junior US Senator from Florida; candidate in the 2010 senate race, Rubio easily defeated two candidates – Charlie Crist running as Independent and Kendrick Meek running as Democrat – with a popular vote of 2,645,743 slightly less than the combined total of both opponents who garnered 2,700,485 votes collectively. Mr. Rubio began work as a senator in January of 2011; as if fate had it, a little less than a year in the job, he was already considered as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 presidential elections. It was the Republican Party belief that candidate Romney would benefit greatly from a Hispanic running mate. Mr. Rubio was quickly put through the vetting process but was not chosen to be in Romney’s ticket. Reading between the lines, one can intelligently speculate something in Mr. Rubio’s background was considered damaging enough to avoid putting him in the ticket, at a time when it became clear Mr. Romney needed someone to help galvanize the Hispanic votes. Whatever it was, it is certain it will raise its ugly head should Mr. Rubio manage to clinch the Republican nomination.
Of all the Republican candidates bidding for the seat of the presidency, Mr. Rubio does by far the best job on his site (marcorubio.com). It is well organized, lively, attractive, inviting, interactive but most importantly it is constantly updated with the campaign activities and the candidate’s position on various issues including current events. For Mr. Rubio’s fans and supporters, it’s a breeze to follow him; they can all be the campaign’ spokepersons. Mr. Rubio also holds the banner for the best candidacy announcement for president. Marco is forceful, articulate and sounds presidential already.
Mr. Rubio’s position on most issues aligns with most of the other Republican candidates’ vying for the post of the presidency. During presidential debates, Marco always comes across confident, knowledgeable and convincing; he is also very eloquent. However, Mr. Rubio’s view on illegal immigration may become the determinant factor between winning the general elections (assuming he clinches the Republican nomination) and losing due to lack of Hispanic support.
Contrary to Donald Trump & Ben Carson who have limited knowledge on foreign policy, Marco is better versed in that area, a big plus for any candidate running for president in this tumultuous world. There are ISIS and Al-Qaeda sowing fear and panic everywhere, Iran which needs to be monitored, Syria which has become America’s problem, Israeli-Palestinian conflicts which will not go away, North Korea waving for attention and Russia which is very aggressive asserting its position in the world. Any wrong decision by the next president could spell doom for the world; read World War III (more on that in a future post).
Mr. Rubio is determined; he wants to be the first Hispanic president. Marco has invested everything he has to reach that milestone; he dedicates himself entirely (body and soul) to make history. But he must first win a two-front war he is fighting against Jeb Bush who perceives Rubio as the biggest obstacle to his nomination and Ted Cruz who wants to be that guy who becomes the first Hispanic president. It seems Mr. Rubio is up to the task; Jeb presents no great challenge to the Rubio’s campaign. Mr. Bush has been languishing in the polls and there is an army in the Republican wing which has been pressuring Jeb to drop out of the race. The incentives for Mr. Bush to drop – if his ranking stagnates or continues to drop, currently happening – may come after the Iowa caucus (February 1, 2016), quite possibly after the New Hampshire primary (February 6, 2016- tentative) but more likely immediately after the South Carolina primary (February 10, 2016). He is not expected to do well in any of those three.
Ted Cruz, on the other hand, will not be so easy to get rid of. He has gone up in the polls recently, a trend which will certainly continue as candidates such as Rand Paul may consider exiting the race. The biggest boost to Ted’s ranking would have to come in the form of a windfall, the withdrawal of Donald Trump from the race – a very unlikely scenario considering Trump keeps going up in the polls while still holding the top rank – . Those circumstances may make it rather difficult for Rubio to push Ted out of the way.
Although Mr. Trump currently holds the top spot in the Republican ranking, it will become harder and harder to keep such a big lead over the others. The Iowa caucus will certainly be where “the triage” begins, New Hampshire will do the sorting and South Carolina the selection of the few. Then, the Republican race begins. If no major surprise raises its ugly head to derail Rubio’s campaign, he may become the candidate to beat for the nomination.
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