Draft Rubio?

by Jonah Goldberg

A reader reacts to my column:


Of your five finalists for 2012, not one is terribly likely to beat Barack Obama, wouldn’t you agree?  Palin polarizes the most, Gingrich has tons of baggage, Mitch Daniels = Phil Gramm ‘96 in more ways than one, Pawlenty excites no one, and Romney’s list includes creating a model for ObamaCare, shameless pander, and wooden performances a few years ago.

You normally think outside the box, but the column seemed willing to accept the likely re-election of Barack Obama that will come from nominating any of these candidates.  You say that it is wise of Rubio, Ryan and Jindal to sit out the 2012 nomination fight.  To that I ask: what is wise about improving Barack Obama’s chances at re-election?  Six years from now, they won’t be golden boys; they’ll be yesterday’s news.

Marco Rubio combines the best qualities of all of your final five: he can put together the organization like he just did in Florida, he is a top pick of wonks, he has a devoted following, he is the only candidate who can surpass Gingrich in debates and he is also acceptable to everyone like Pawlenty.   Plus we know that Marco Rubio has the best message to run against Obama: he just turned a 2008 blue state into a solid Republican victory by articulately explaining how the policies of Barack Obama weaken our republic.

Best regards,


Hey, I’m one of the original members of the Marco Rubio fan club and I have very high hopes for the guy. But it’s hard for me to see the logic of drafting the guy when he has next to no national political profile — yet. I think he — and everyone — would be much better situated if he’d been elected to the Senate in 2008 or had been governor first. As it is, it just seems premature to me. But good luck!

As for the existing field’s chances, I don’t really buy any of that — yet. Straight line projections of the conventional wisdom are always dangerous and almost always wrong. Let’s see what these guys and gal actually do when they start truly asking Americans for the job.

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