I love politics. Having watched and read about candidates and elections in real time since 1976 there is one thing I can say with certainty.
Never have I seen anything like that which is now happening with Marco Rubio. There is no doubt that he is not playing to win the nomination. Everyday it is more and more clear that all Rubio wants is a smaller group of contenders. His energy focused on that goal has totally removed him as a serious threat to Donald Trump who seems on his way to becoming a very serious and troubling nominee for the GOP.
There is a logic to what Rubio is attempting, to be sure. Do not become a target for Trump, get the other candidates to leave the race, and pray for magic in Ohio and his home state.
But that logic only works on paper and for some other election year. This cycle is the most upside down mess that calls for a new way of maneuvering on the delegate hunt. Rubio seems lost to that reality.
I have always felt Rubio was running for the vice-president slot. My reasons for stating this have always been two-fold.
First he had the most bizarre time frame for when he visited key states, how long he stayed, and how his dollars were allocated for the all-important ground game.
Second was the lack of his ability to say which state is the place he will come in first and start the roll to the nomination.
Now he is unwilling (not unable) to go after Trump in an all-out fight for the nomination. That in and of itself is sad to see unfold, but speaks volumes about what Rubio’s real intentions have always been.
This, of course, is most unsettling as Trump gains ground. What is happening in the GOP is simply unnerving. The crass empty-of-facts blow-hard bullying antics of Trump makes every sensible voter—and that includes many Republicans—very upset. Dane County’s most vocal conservative, David Blaska, and a friend to this blog, has come out publically on Facebook to state he can not vote for Trump if he gains the nomination.
I have conservative relatives and friends around the nation who have made the same statement to me. Some say they will cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton as they understand a resume and a deep skill set are essential at this time in our nation.
I recently had lunch with a UW professor who stated in very clear terms that regardless of more conservative desires he would vote Clinton over Trump as the world chaos demands credibility. The crazy element in the primary may register enough support to allow Trump the nomination but the blow back will be intense.
And it will have a long-term negative impact on the GOP. Harm that it will take years to undo.