I want to begin this post by letting you know that I don’t endorse candidates in the presidential primary. It’s just a choice I’ve made as a professional op-ed writer. However, I do have opinions about the candidates and we here at EveryJoe have been having various discussions about the current frontrunners and their merits.
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I decided to choose one candidate and see how many reasons I could come up with to vote that person. I chose Marco Rubio. Here are 10 reasons I think any person could feel comfortable voting for Senator Rubio in the primary elections.
1. He’s not Trump.
A lot of people on the right and left are concerned about Donald Trump’s perplexing dominance in the polls. If you don’t want Trump to be the GOP nominee, Rubio may be the best choice of the remaining candidates to defeat the reality TV star and even siphon off some of his base.
2. His “Gang of 8″ debacle taught him a very good lesson.
The defunct “amnesty” deal might be the most damning case against a President Rubio. Tea Party conservatives still harbor a lot of resentment over Rubio’s seeming defection on the issue of immigration. I understood that he was simply trying to get out in front of the Democrats on immigration at the time but the deal was basically crap and I was disappointed in Rubio for supporting it. In Rubio’s subsequent apologies to his base, he recognized that his opinion is sometimes different from those of the people he represents – and when those people speak forcefully enough he must bend to their will. I can tolerate a politician who may have some differing opinions from my own as long as I believe that politician will revere the constitution and the expressed will of the people above his/her own agenda. Rubio gained experience in navigating the sticky world of Capitol Hill establishment politics while learning a lesson about the will of the people. That can only come in handy for a young President.
3. He splits the difference.
Many conservatives feel leery of Rubio because of his “Gang of Eight” business and close relationship to Jeb Bush. They accuse him of becoming an establishment politician. Still, many other conservatives appreciate him as part of the original Tea Party congressional wave. Although not ideal to either wing of the party, Rubio seems able to split the difference between the establishment GOP and the Tea Party wing. While some may see it as compromise, the eventual nominee will need to reunite both wings of an extremely divided party in order to defeat the Democrat challenger. It’s not a solution purists will love, but Rubio could effectively straddle the line between conservative and inside-the-beltway-politics enough to unify the Republican vote in the general election.
4. He’s not Trump.
Did I say that already? Well, it bears repeating. Sometimes knowing who you don’t want is important when choosing a nominee.
5. He speaks eloquently about the importance of our Constitution.
One of the reasons Rubio was able to ride the Tea Party wave to victory in 2010 was his refreshing ability to passionately express his reverence for the Constitution. This is a skill that has been lost in many modern politicians. It’s a bit cliche but he’s often been compared to Ronald Reagan when it comes to his easy-going, passionate, sharp defense of the Constitution. In an era when too many Americans are unaware and even uncaring of how our rights are enumerated, this is an invaluable quality in a Presidential candidate.
6. He has good taste in shoes.
I’m actually not just being funny. Republicans have a PR problem. While the right mocks Obama, Hillary and other Democrats for appearing on late night TV and silly celebrity talk shows, they are reaching audiences that would never turn on CNN, MSNBC or (especially) Fox News. Any GOP candidate that wants to win an election needs to understand the importance of engaging the culture. Yes, they were just silly shoes but those shoes landed Rubio on every celebrity gossip/fashion blog, and even major publications like the Daily Mail. It might not directly win voters but it exposed the Senator to millions of people who otherwise might not even know his name. Plus, they were cool.
7. He’s not afraid to make fun of himself.
This sort of piggy backs on the above point. Rubio’s now infamous Water(bottle)gate gave the late night circuit ample joke ammunition for quite a while. One of the least attractive things about Obama is that he doesn’t seem to have the ability to laugh at himself. While the gag may have worn out it’s welcome by now, Rubio has never been shy about taking the opportunity to laugh at his water bottle blunder. Self-deprecation has always been an endearing quality in a public figure and is absolutely vital in an atmosphere where any Republican candidate is sure to be mercilessly ridiculed in the entertainment media.
8. He can pull Trump voters.
When Donald Trump elected to skip the last Fox News debate over accusations of bias, Rubio took on a stronger, more aggressive strategy. He seemed to be blustery, almost angry. At the time it seemed strained and a bit too obvious, but the result was that most pundits felt Rubio won the night and Fox post-debate polling revealed a slight rise in Rubio’s number.
Thanks to the Electoral College, Florida is a vital state in any Presidential election. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a candidate who is a representative of that state, especially if he is supported by Jeb Bush – who may not have been an ideal candidate but has built up a certain measure of goodwill in the Sunshine State.
10. My 8-year-old-daughter says everyone should vote for Rubio.
Because her name is Ruby…and his name is Rub-i-o….get it? Ruby? Rubio?
Hey…have you ever talked to a Bernie Sanders supporter? It’s as good a reason as any you’ll hear from them.
Kira Davis is a writer, video blogger and homeschool mother of two. She has interviewed President Obama and appeared on Fox News, The BlazeTV and the Dr. Phil Show. Kira is a dog person but she owns a cat anyway. You can find her on Twitter @RealKiraDavis.
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