Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator. And he just can’t stand it anymore.
“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio said in an interview. “I’m frustrated.”
This year, as Rubio runs for president, he has cast the Senate — the very place that cemented him as a national politician — as a place he’s given up on, after less than one term. It’s too slow. Too rule-bound. So Rubio, 44, has decided not to run for his seat again. It’s the White House or bust.
“That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate. I am not running for reelection,” Rubio said in the last Republican debate, after Donald Trump had mocked him for his unusual number of absences during Senate votes.
They keep telling me the smart money is on the Republican Savior(tm).
Five years ago, Rubio arrived with a potential that thrilled Republicans. He was young, ambitious, charismatic, fluent in English and Spanish, and beloved by the establishment and the tea party.
But Rubio had arrived at one of the least ambitious moments in Senate history and saw many of his ideas fizzle. Democrats killed his debt-cutting plans. Republicans killed his immigration reform. The two parties actually came together to kill his AGREE Act, a small-bore, hands-across-the-aisle bill that Rubio had designed just to get a win on something.
Now, he’s done. “He hates it,” a longtime friend from Florida said, speaking anonymously to say what Rubio would not.
Which makes for an odd campaign message.
Nothing odd about it. Given the number of times Republicans have described Obama as "petulant" and/or "arrogant" you would think it was a required presidential trait. Rubio's just getting there early. See, presidential material!
Besides, since when do Florida Tea Party types actually want Rubio to be doing anything in Senate? I thought the whole deal was to make sure nothing got done. He's done a super job of that.
Don't worry, Rubio will just spin his missing huge numbers of votes as "I gave up on Washington!" and run as an outsider. It'll fool some of the GOP, too.