As a Floridian, I suppose I should be pleased that Marco Rubio could have been Romney’s VP choice. But I just can't be. In spite of his irrational, often divisive politi-speak there is something about the man that suggests that he may possess the stuff of a true and rational leader – dare I say statesman? I'm glad he didn't end up on the same ticket as Romney and here are a couple of reasons why.
First, I suspect Romney may see Rubio the same way I do and would have preferred to have him on the VP leash than somehow cross paths with Senator Rubio somewhere down the pike. Second, I believe while Rubio would have been an asset to Romney’s ticket, I do not believe that he would be an asset good enough to win Romney the presidency.
So, what would I say to Rubio if I had the chance?
Most important is that I believe Rubio could be a viable future presidential candidate himself. Let’s face it, he’s a good looking man with a good looking family which is about 50% of the battle in this day of celebrity worship. Add to that the fact that his recent ancestors “heroically” escaped Castro’s Cuba and he’s another 5 or 10% of the way to victory. Finally, an increasingly measured discourse relating to the concerns of the day would allow him to be respected for his wisdom and a general concern for the welfare of all the people rather than a rabid, mindless ideologue with concern only for his voting base and thus his own self-service.
Were he to take this advice he’d be a double winner no matter which road he eventually decided to tread. That is, Rubio would prove to be a more attractive presidential candidate should he decide to take that path. Concurrently, now that he has no chance of becoming VP, Rubio is able to position himself against his most likely 2016 presidential candidate (dare I say Hillary Clinton) unencumbered by the desires and needs of Romney.
And if he chooses not to be a presidential candidate Rubio will have already demonstrated his capacity to be an outstanding senator. This begs the eternal question – is it better to build a legacy as an outstanding legislator or take a chance at being a poor or mediocre president? Obviously Rubio chose to play to his known strengths rather than associate himself with Romney who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to paint himself, and those around them, as fools.