He is playing his cards exactly right, with the most recent Florida poll showing Rubio in second place to Donald Trump, and several national polls showing Rubio a strong 4th behind the outsider candidates. I would expect a lot of the establishment money currently with Jeb Bush will begin moving it’s way to Rubio, adding to the money he inherited from the establishment forces that were backing Governor Scott Walker.
So if Marco Rubio is the nominee who will be his VP?
A lot of people have said he should put Carly Fiorina on his ticket, but I believe Ms. Fiorina’s talents would be wasted as Vice President and she’s far better off in a cabinet position and seeing as she and Marco Rubio are so sympatico on foreign policy as was illustrated in the CNN debate, I believe a President Rubio would sent Carly to the State Department to succeed John Kerry. And I think she would do a fantastic job as Secretary of State.
Some have said John Kasich should be his VP to cover the bases: Florida and Ohio. Conservatives know this would be a huge mistake for Senator Rubio. While conservatives like Senator Rubio, he is suspect with some in the conservative base due to his alliance with establishment Republicans on immigration. Putting someone who’s moderate to liberal like Gov. Kasich on the ticket would be disheartening to a lot of conservatives. And I think Gov. Kasich campaigning for the ticket in Ohio would be enough anyway.
Marco Rubio should pick a running mate who backs up his campaign message: It’s time for a new generation of leadership. When Bill Clinton picked Al Gore, it was a huge surprise to a lot of pundits. At the time, Gore was a moderate third way Democrat, much like Bill Clinton. He was a baby boomer, much like Bill Clinton, and he was from the south, much like Bill Clinton. Clinton was trying to send a message: The days of northeastern, old, super liberal Democrats were over (little did he know what would happen in 2008). Rubio should do the same thing, he should pick a candidate who’s a Gen-Xer, much like him to send the message that he is serious about his appeal that we need a new generation of leadership. He should pick a running mate who’s a committed conservative, but unafraid to challenge the traditional orthodoxies of conservativism, just like Marco Rubio is. He should also pick a southerner, why? Because the south is where our innovative governors and senators are.
Who fits this bill better than any other elected official today?
Governor Nikki Haley
Governor Haley is a Gen-Xer, and she has approached very sensitive issues with grace but looking forward towards the future, think of the issue with the confederate flag. Governor Haley showed real leadership, she was willing to tell a lot of her supporters that they were wrong and that removing that flag in 2015 was the right thing to do. She challenged what is thought to be conservative orthodoxy on that issue in a way that didn’t alienate a lot of conservatives. She is from the south and doing a great job as governor. Additionally, I don’t know if they know each other, but I think Senator Rubio and Governor Haley would get along well and be a good team.
Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley would be able to stand on the stage at the Republican convention next year and say, “We are the Republican Party” and it would send a powerful message: The Republicans are looking to the future and it’s a party that doesn’t look at the things that have traditionally divided us, but we’re looking at ways to bring our nation together.
If we’re making predictions about the presidential race, I’d say that Rubio/Haley is a strong possibility and it would be an incredibly strong ticket.