Ask the next person you see which of the GOP Presidential candidates would be considered an “enigma.” I’d bet that most would say it’s Donald Trump. Some might say Ted Cruz. A handful would point to Ben Carson. You probably won’t hear anybody say it’s Marco Rubio. He doesn’t appear to be an enigma and that’s one of the reasons that he is one.
Pundits have been trying to classify him ever since he stepped into the Presidential ring. His voting record seems to be conservative, but then there’s the Gang of Eight and S-590. He won his Senate seat through backing by the Tea Party which seems to be in the process of disowning him. He is opposed to many of the mainstream concepts that drive the Republican Establishment and yet they seem to be reluctantly drifting towards him as their puppet of choice for the cycle.
What does Marco Rubio stand for at the end of the day? Nobody knows. It’s not because he doesn’t get asked. It’s because his canned responses are carefully crafted to appeal to moderates while not making conservatives upset. This might make him seem like the guy in the middle, the in-betweener that can bridge the party together. In fact, that’s exactly what he wants us to believe. It’s what I believed until I read a poignant article by Rekha Basu who was on the receiving end of Rubio’s sales pitch as he tried and failed to get an endorsement from the Des Moines Register.
— Tribune Edit Board (@Trib_ed_board) January 13, 2016
It was in hearing his answers and then analyzing how he responds to almost every question in interviews that I came to an interesting conclusion about Marco Rubio. He isn’t the conservative trying to bridge the gap with the moderates or the moderate trying to appeal to the conservatives. He’s not the Tea Party darling who can infiltrate the Establishment nor is he the Establishment thoroughbred that can pull support from the Tea Party. He’s not conservative. He’s not moderate. He’s not in-between.
He’s a chameleon. He blends in with whichever group he’s addressing. He crafts his policies in a way that has very little to do with convictions, understandings, or the mandates of the people. Instead, he obscures his policies to appeal to everybody. He’s the embodiment of political expediency on the GOP side of the coin. This, of course, makes him the political soul mate of the other candidate who engages in these types of slithering activities: Hillary Clinton.
It’s completely understandable that voters might see this trait as the type of compromising bridge builder that the country hasn’t really seen since Ronald Reagan, but they would be sadly disappointed by the truth. Reagan built bi-partisan support because he had the right ideas and the passion to make the people believe in those ideas. Rubio has no ideas. Seriously. He says and does nothing that comes from the goal of making things better but rather what he believes his audience needs to hear to believe that he can make things better.
It’s so hard to see what Marco Rubio is because he’s obscure by design. What he says and how he says it is very appealing on the surface, but after further review it’s clear that they’re engineered to be appealing rather than effective. This is what makes Rubio arguably the most deceptively-talented pure politician in the entire field with the possible exception of Clinton.