Jimmy Zuma

Jimmy Zuma
Washington, District of Columbia,
August 01
After ten years haunting online political forums and much longer as a disability rights advocate, Jimmy Zuma started the online political journal, Smart v. Stupid. Since then, he has emerged as one of the left’s most direct new voices. Almost immediately, Jimmy was offered the opportunity to join the political team at Technorati where he writes DC Water Cooler, a weekly feature on what the politicians and pundits are talking about. Most recently, his columns began appearing in the Tucson Sentinel in Tucson Arizona. He is also an occasional contributor to OpEd News. Jimmy's goal is to return vetting to the marketplace of ideas, by elevating the status of smart ideas and debunking dumb ones.

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MARCH 29, 2012 10:26PM

Marco Rubio to GOP: Kill me now, OK?

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The endorsement of Mitt Romney by Florida Senator Marco Rubio signals the end of the Republican primary. He joins other tea party darlings, Rubio Marco Gage Skidmore Photo among them Utah Senator Mike Lee and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, in bowing to the inevitability of a Romney candidacy.

Rubio’s nod to Romney also follows on the heels of a string of party establishment (read rich guy) endorsements in recent weeks. These included the older George Bush and his son Jeb. But the Rubio nomination is especially meaningful. He is both a favorite of right wing anarchists and a rising star in the mainstream GOP. Rubio – along with Jeb Bush – is also thought to be the last best hope for saving the Republican Party from its knee-jerk tendency to alienate Latinos whenever the opportunity arises. He is a cross-constituency power player.

Both the Rubio and Jeb Bush endorsements were unusually tepid, though. Traditionally, endorsements are made before the endorser’s home state primary -- when they have the opportunity to affect the outcome. They are usually effusively positive.

But The Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio endorsements could only be described as tepid. Rubio essentially said he was endorsing Romney because the primary was hurting the party. Jeb’s endorsement was hardly more ringing, but at least he endorsed the candidate, not simply the end of a painful primary. Still neither of these guys stepped up when they should have, before the Florida primary.

Lukewarm endorsement or not, Rubio is right that the Republican primary is hurting the party’s chances. I wrote over a year ago that President Obama had no chance of being reelected. This election should have been a GOP cake walk. But boy, what a difference a year makes.

Gingrich-as-gadfly has been delivering stinging criticisms of Romney (on any subject) to anyone who would listen. His pronouncements are mostly notable for their apocalyptic construction, as if a Romney candidacy signals the end of life. But that’s Gingrich. He’s the perfect embodiment of “Please make it stop!” Party officials are thrilled that Newt’s owner, Sheldon Adelson, has declared his candidacy finished. Newt is now left to charge $50 for a photo with himself at his events. He may be out by tomorrow.

Santorum brings his own set of party-killing negatives, essentially serving as the focal point for the party’s antediluvian views on women, a woman’s place, and women’s health. He – along with help from a few state legislatures – has killed his party’s chances with women. Women voters now give Democrats (and President Obama) a 15 point advantage, largely owing to Santorum’s – and the party’s -- opposition to family planning.

So, dragged along by these fringe-thinkers, Romney’s favorability continues to drop. In five recent polls, his unfavorability is approaching majority. And his spreads are growing:

Romney unfavorables  chart

Meanwhile, President Obama finally has some wind at his back (despite rising gas prices.) The most recent ABC News Poll pegs his favorable number at 53%, ten points higher than his unfavorable number. That’s a 19 point advantage over Romney in favorability.

Nonetheless, Romney can still win the general election. In order to do so he needs:

  • Effective RNC voter suppression in minority neighborhoods
  • A successful campaign free of rich-guy gaffes
  • A strategy to win back women
  • A big negative ad campaign by Superpacs
  • Marco Rubio as his vice-presidential mate

Yes, Romney needs Rubio on the ticket to win. It’ll be a cold day at the condom counter before Romney offers the vice-presidency to Santorum, or to Gingrich or to any of the other nutbag nominees. Jeb Bush won’t accept it. Neither Chris Christie nor Mitch Daniels delivers votes Romney wouldn’t already get. But Rubio can deliver the hopes and aspirations of the Latino community. Romney can’t win without a solid third of Latino votes.

Still, Rubio -- who has presidential aspirations of his own -- will only join the ticket if he believes Romney has a chance to win. That will be the true test of his endorsement.

Marco Rubio photo by Gage Skidmore

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I'd say you're right that Rubio head's Romney's list. But I'm not willing to eliminate Santorum as an alternative if Rubio declines the offer. Romney's greatest weakness isn't with women, it's with evangelicals. With Santorum in tow, Romney can race back to the middle -- which he must do if he wants to get elected.
I can only hope that some of the so-called "liberal base" comes to its senses and starts to back Barack Obama's candidacy. Having the conservatives in power (Romney will be utterly beholden to the conservatives) will be a disaster for this country.

Obama has done a much, much better job than many of the liberals are willing to give him credit for doing. He has been working in one of the most toxic, obstructionist politically environments ever...and he has been getting as much heat from the left as from the right.

He deserves a second term.

I do not count out a Republican win in any way. They will enter this election united in opposition to Obama. Too bad they will have so much help from the left.
Oh...I will be shocked if the second spot is not either Rubio or Santorum...but my bet would be on Rubio.
Charles Krauthammer actually got it partly right when he talked about the "GOP suicide march."

They do seem to have gone insane.

Having either Romney or Obama in power will be a disaster for this country; the best hope is that this insanity will lead to a massive Grass Roots movement that elects a sincere candidate, perhaps Jill Stein.
Rubio can't come close to even diluting the Hispanic vote, let alone delivering it to the GOP. He's not seen as a "paisano;" rather, a rich "chipocludo" who has no idea of what being an Hispanic in this country is about. Furthermore, the Democrats will constantly remind Hispanic voters of Rubio's “little white lie” about himself and his family as being refugees from Castro's Cuba.

Let's face it: Romney's between a rock and a hard place. He's against everything that he was formerly for. That's a tough balancing act, in any case.

But more than anything, Romney offers nothing. No president has ever been elected without some kind of vision and an ability to articulate it. (Even Dubyah!) And Romney has none to offer: no overarching theme with which offer as a path to the Promised Land – except more of what brought this country to its knees in the first place.

That old dog ain't gonna hunt – I don't think.
OMG the race is really on.
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