Update: Premature ejaculation. Couldn’t this have waited until Monday after the Olympics and the weekend? Breaking: Romney to announce VP pick tomorrow at 9 am If it is not Marco Rubio and Romney loses Florida or has to struggle there, there will be hell to pay.
This month Mitt Romney decides who will be his political partner for the next four, or eight, years. Romney can either carefully calibrate his pick with a Great Lakes electoral map strategy which relies on securing a few more white working class voters. Or, Mitt Romney can blow up the electoral map, not merely expand it.
The Great Lakes strategy would mean a budget wiz Paul Ryan to grab Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes and a policy wonk argument on the budget to determine who wins this November. Paul Ryan physically looks like one of Mitt Romney’s many sons and is a favorite with the conservative base that wants to place the economy at the forefront of the campaign.
Rob Portman brings to the table much of the budgetary wiz of Ryan with the bitter taste of having worked for George W. Bush’s budget staff. Physically Portman resembles a Mitt Romney brother, not a son. Portman is less vibrant a personality than Ryan but on the scales of electoral votes, Ohio with 18 electoral votes trumps Wisconsin.
To blow up the electoral map there is Marco Rubio, the Pillar of Fire.
No Vice Presidential candidate can guarantee a home state win – but it helps. With 29 electoral votes Florida is the must win state for Mitt Romney. In the raw calculation of electoral votes needed to get to 270 and a victory, Mitt Romney’s must have states are such as Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia and possibly New Hampshire. None approach the gravity level of Florida. Without Florida Mitt Romney is a rancid orange.
Mitt Romney will likely win Florida with or without Marco Rubio. But Rubio is an insurance policy to secure the state. More than Florida however Marco Rubio is the Pillar of Fire that allows Latinos to migrate from the Obama Dimocratic Party to the Republican Party for decades, if not generations.
This assertion, that Marco Rubio will explode the map by bringing Latino voters to the Republican ticket, is a widely debated question. Many guffaw at the notion. They sneer and deride the possibility that Marco Rubio can possibly have that much impact on the diverse Latino community in America.
But as we wrote in The Deep Meaning Of Ted Cruz And The Historic Threat Of Marco Rubio the reason why a near unknown, monolingual, mayor from Texas was chosen to deliver the Obama keynote address at the Bank of America convention was the Pharohnic fear of Marco Rubio declaring “Let My People Go.”
Could Marco Rubio really be The Pillar Of Fire? Consider the impact of a smiling, sweet faced, Marco Rubio, speaking in Spanish on the massive networks of Spanish language television while “HOO-lee-un” Castro struggles with Mike Bloomberg gringoisms.
But what about the argument that the Latino community is too diverse to care about a Cuban from Florida? How does Marco Rubio address that question? Imagine the Republican convention in Tampa Florida as Marco Rubio ascends the podium with his tongue on fire to speak to Americans everywhere and to Latinos eying him with Obama instigated suspicion:
“I come to you tonight to accept the nomination for Vice President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country and worked hard hours, sacrificed their lives, so that I, like generations of Americans before, would have the opportunity to live the American Dream.
That American Dream is now threatened. The American Dream is in nightmarish danger because of a government that has stopped listening to the people.
Tonight I speak to all Americans in every state and worldwide. But first I want to speak to my fellow Americans whose origins trace back to the Iberian peninsula and the shores of Central and South America.
We come from a diverse community as diverse as the United States itself. Cubans in Florida, a short reach from the Caribbean island now captured by tyranny, are far away from Cubans in the cities of New Jersey not only geographically but politically.
The Puerto Ricans in the barrios of New York mingling, sometimes not too comfortably with newly arrived neighbors from Santo Domingo and El Salvador sometimes share little that is apparent to those Puerto Ricans living in the southeastern portions of this great land or in the Caribbean isle.
Those of Mexican origins residing in East Los Angeles, Laredo, Hialeah, El Paso, Santa Ana, El Monte, Miami and just about every other state all have political and geographic differences that to the cynical connivers in the White House today are viewed as an opportunity to divide and conquer.
In every state and territory of these United States Latinos strive to achieve the American Dream in the same way that my parents and the parents of every nationality and continent came to this land guided by the torch light in the night of Lady Liberty.
As America is diverse Latinos are diverse. Meztizos of native American heritage, Asian Latinos, yes there are Asian Latinos, and every color and shade comprise this great community that is part of the greater American community.
So, how can this son of Carribean Cuba have anything to say, anything in common with such a broad community of such diverse interests and geographies as the Latino community let alone the great American community of peoples from all nations who believe in American exceptionalism and America as a light onto the world?
What can this Cuban from Florida say to counter the divisions and cynicism of Barack Obama – intent on winning election not on HOPE and CHANGE, but on DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Barack Obama hopes to prevent a change in American government not by addition but by subtraction and division.
So to Latinos and Americans whether in Nevada, New Jersey, Colorado, California, New York, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire or Florida let me tell you what unites us all. I agree with Ted Cruz, the next Senator from Texas, when he said:
“I think the Hispanic community, the values that resonate in our community, are fundamentally conservative. They are faith, family, patriotism.”
Ted Cruz is correct when he tell us “the Obama agenda has been incredibly destructive to the Hispanic community. Hispanic unemployment is higher than the national average and when the federal government is killing small businesses and killing jobs it is hurting the future of the Hispanic community and we need to carry that message.”
What is true of the Latino community is just as true in every American household. Black Americans and young Americans swept up on the promises of HOPE and CHANGE must look at the long unemployment lines and ask themselves “Am I better off today and will I be better off tomorrow as Barack Obama continues to destroy the American economy and the great engine of job creation which is small business?” The answer of course is no. It’s time for a change.
It’s time for a change for every American…….
That’s the promise of the Pillar of Fire which is Marco Rubio. As Josh Kraushaar writes in National Journal:
“Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is one of the few Republicans who is a star with conservatives but also has widespread appeal among independent voters, Hispanics, and suburbanites because of his compelling biography. Romney not only could make some inroads with the solidly Democratic Hispanic electorate; he also could build an inspirational narrative around the creation of an “opportunity society” and contrast it with Obama’s more populist appeals.”
Pillar of Fire Marco Rubio is the person that strikes at the Barack Obama Dimocratic Party the most destructively for generations upon generations. It’s why Judas Richardson is so terrified:
“The vice presidential buzz around Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has former New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson concerned about the senator’s ability to undermine President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.
“I like him. And yes, I’m afraid of him,” Richardson told Univision’s Al Punto in an interview, “because I think he is an attractive politician, well prepared. And he is Cuban-American and to me that is positive.” [snip]
“I think he is someone, for example, in states like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and certainly Florida, could give Romney votes that he doesn’t have now,” Richardson said. “I don’t think putting him on the ticket will be enough to defeat President Obama. But he is an attractive politician.”
That thought hides the fear that our proposed Rubio VP acceptance speech is more realistic than the hope that the Latino community will ignore Rubio’s bid for high national office.
That fear is what drives David Axelrod’s campaign nightmares and Obama’s divide and conquer strategy:
“Axelrod: We’re Terrified of Rubio!
Well, technically what Axelrod said was:
I think it would be an insult to the Hispanic community to choose Senator Rubio if the thinks that that is somehow—if Governor Romney thinks that’s sort of a get-out-of-jail-free card for all of the things and the positions that he’s taken.
Sure. Just like it was an insult to the African-American community when Barack Obama got the Democratic presidential nomination, or Hillary Clinton’s campaign was an insult to women.
Axelrod’s theory is that the Republicans aren’t allowed to nominate a Hispanic because they don’t have pro-Hispanic policies like the Democrats. That only makes sense if you assume that Hispanics don’t care about such mundane things as jobs, economic growth, the national debt, national defense, and so on. Actually, I think it is Axelrod who is insulting Hispanic Americans, but his real meaning comes through loud and clear: for God’s sake, don’t choose Marco Rubio!“
Axelrod is terrified for good reason. For decades Democratic Party strategy books have been filled with discussions of how to lure votes. “Affinity voters” are D party speak for blacks voting for blacks, Latinos voting for Latinos, women… well not so much. We can quote chapter and verse because we have those very same strategy books David.
Axelrod and Barack know:
“Mr. Rubio, considered a rising star in Republican circles, is Cuban-American and has become a major voice for the GOP’s efforts to win over Hispanic voters and to project an inclusive image to the country as a whole.
Hispanics broke for Obama 67 to 31 percent in 2008. In 2012, Obama may be more vulnerable. His attempt to force Catholic institutions to pay for birth control could alienate the Latino population’s devout following.
The economy could open up even more doors for Romney. Unemployment among Hispanics rose from 10.3 in April to 11 percent in May, nearly three points higher than the 8.2 percent unemployment rate of the general population. Those numbers are not expected to get any better before November, even by the estimations of prominent Democratic allies.
Hispanic unemployment is projected to remain above 10% through 2012 in 14 states—including the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington.”
David Axelrod and Chicago Obama are afraid. It’s why Republican/conservative readers of HotAir voted Marco Rubio as the one they most want to be Mitt Romney’s political partner for the next four to eight years. It’s why Jeb Bush and Rudy Giuliani think Marco Rubio should be the Romney choice.
Stephen Hayes and William Kristol think Marco Rubio should be at least among the top two choices:
“We have to get Hispanics to vote for our party,” he said. Romney pointed to polls showing him trailing badly among Hispanic voters and said that if those numbers don’t change, “it spells doom for us.”
Those numbers haven’t changed. [snip]
That’s worrisome. But the core of the problem is Florida—a must-win state for Romney. According to Latino Decisions, Romney trails Obama among Latino Floridians 53-37. (Even more, among voters who say they’re “certain” to vote for their candidate, Obama leads 49-29.) This kind of margin might well doom Romney.
In 2010, by contrast, Marco Rubio won 55 percent of Florida Hispanics. Rick Scott, who was probably helped by having Rubio running with him, won 50 percent of the state’s Hispanic voters in his successful bid to become governor. [snip]
The bottom line: Mitt Romney almost certainly will not win Florida if he wins just 37 percent of the Hispanic vote there. And Mitt Romney almost certainly will not be president if he doesn’t win Florida.
What to do? The Latino Decisions poll offers one possible answer: Pick Marco Rubio as your running mate. [snip]
Rubio’s appeal goes well beyond Hispanics and well beyond Florida, of course. At a recent appearance in Nevada on behalf of Romney, Rubio drew nearly 1,000 voters to his former elementary school, with lines out the door. His autobiography, An American Son, spent several weeks near the top of the New York Times bestseller list. A recent survey of Illinois delegates to the Republican convention found that nearly half of them want Romney to pick Rubio.
The two main arguments against Rubio—he’s too inexperienced and he hasn’t been adequately vetted—strike us as weak. It’s true that Rubio has spent less than two years in the Senate. But he’s hardly green. Rubio served in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years, the final two as speaker. In his short time in the U.S. Senate, he has distinguished himself as a hard worker and a serious foreign policy thinker. He has participated in dozens of intelligence briefings—more than Barack Obama before he was nominated.
Moreover, Rubio has probably been subject to more intense critical scrutiny than anyone else Romney is considering. In his 2010 race, Rubio was the subject of massive opposition research conducted by his Republican opponent, the sitting governor of Florida, Charlie Crist; the National Republican Senatorial Committee (which supported Crist); his Democratic opponent, Representative Kendrick Meek; and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The campaign was covered extensively in the Florida press and nationally. Rubio sat for interviews or debates with David Gregory, Candy Crowley, Chris Wallace, Bob Schieffer, and many others. [snip]
The moment he’s picked, Rubio will become by far the most prominent Hispanic politician in the country. And in a contest largely about competing visions of the American dream, against a president who has minimized the importance of hard work as a road to success, Rubio’s personal story, of a father who worked as a bartender and a mother as a maid to provide opportunities for their children, would provide a powerful counterargument.“
If you want a VP with a “vision” for America, as Romney now says he does, it’s the Pillar of Fire, Marco Rubio:
“CHUCK TODD: What do you want your running mate to say about you? What do you want your selection to say about what kind of president you’re going to be?
MITT ROMNEY: I don’t think I have anything for you on the V.P. running mate. Other than I– I certainly expect to have a person that has a strength of character, a vision for the country, that, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country. I mean, I happen to believe this is a defining election for America; that we’re going to be voting for what kind of America we’re going to have.”
Hayes and Kristol accent something that has been missed by just about everyone who has discussed Mitt Romney’s vice presidential decision: Foreign Policy.
Marco Rubio is about the only one on the supposed Romney short list that can claim foreign policy expertise. On foreign policy Senator Marco Rubio certainly has more to offer than Representative Paul Ryan or any of the governors whose names have been mentioned as “finalists” (Christie for example).
And there is something else most everyone has missed which we discussed in This Weekend In Jerusalem. Many have missed the striking similarities in Mitt Romney’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marco Rubio’s maiden speech on the senate floor.
Mitt Romney said to the VFW:
“Like a watchman in the night, we must remain at our post — and keep guard of the freedom that defines and ennobles us and our friends.”
In his maiden speech on the senate floor Marco Rubio quoted John Kennedy and used the “watchman” language borrowed by Mitt Romney:
“One of my favorite speeches is one that talks about our role in the world. It was the speech President Kennedy was set to give, had he lived just one more day. It would have closed with these words:
“We in this country, in this generation, are- by destiny rather than by choice- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
Almost half a century later America is still the only watchman on that wall of world freedom. And there is still no one else to take our place.”
If Mitt Romney wants someone to stand with him like a watchman in the night protecting the walls of freedom – who better than Marco Rubio – the Pillar of Fire???? Why not the MR/MR ticket???
Marco Rubio will stand guard with Mitt Romney against Barack Obama’s plans for structured American decline.
Mitt Romney borrowed from Rubio’s maiden speech. Now it is time for Romney to hire the Pillar of Fire.