No surprise here: the D-G endorsed Marco Rubio this morning. Rubio continues to gather establishment support. It’s not clear that’s a good thing this year.
Without ever referring to him by name, the editorial calls Donald Trump “a vulgar, insulting, casino-owning friend of the Clintons.” Meanwhile, the D-G makes the claim, an article of faith among Rubio backers, that Democrats are scared of Rubio. The editorial applauds Rubio’s “presidential comportment…his bearing, knowledge of foreign policy, reasoning, and thoughtful manner recommend him.”
I mostly think what they mean about his comportment is that Rubio regurgitates memorized talking points in a way that is familiar and comforting to the chattering classes. It seems likely to me that this familiarity makes Rubio (or John Kasich, the D-G’s choice for VP in the same editorial) a stronger general election candidate than the unhinged, and at times seemingly fascistic, Trump. Rubio is running on a platform to double down on the most disastrous portions of the George W. Bush presidency, and is a Tea Party ideologue vastly to the right of Trump on most issues. But he looks and sounds more or less like the kind of person who would be elected president. He’s in range of our normal expectations of a Republican president. He follows the standard political protocol. Whereas, as John Burris recently put it in a Talk Business column, “it’s hard to envision [Trump] as the nominee” (emphasis mine).
The problem for Rubio backers is that he has to actually win among GOP primary voters, and that’s a very long shot at this point.