Skip to comments.Will Immigration Reform Kill Rubio's Presidential Chances?
Posted on 04/09/2013 5:19:17 AM PDT by Kaslin
Passing major legislation is not a path to the presidency. So why is Sen. Marco Rubio, who is almost surely running for the 2016 Republican nomination, working so hard on comprehensive immigration reform?
Look at the only lawmaker who has become president in the last half-century. Barack Obama did almost nothing in his brief time in the Senate. His career in the world's greatest deliberative body consisted mainly of showing up, becoming immediately dissatisfied and looking for something better.
Obama never took a leading role crafting any piece of momentous legislation. And some of the things he did do, like voting against raising the debt ceiling and voting to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee, came back to bite him when he moved into the White House. But mainly, Sen. Obama held to the same arm's length, disengaged philosophy that led him to vote "present" 129 times in the Illinois legislature.
If the plan was to move up, it worked spectacularly well.
On the other hand, look at the most recent senator who ran for president with a record of passing big legislation. John McCain led a crusade for campaign finance reform and tried hard, if unsuccessfully, to enact immigration reform in 2006 and 2007. That kind of work forces a lawmaker to take stands, which can lead to making enemies, which can lead to trouble in his own party. It doesn't lead to the White House.
So now Marco Rubio, a presidential hopeful, is all-in for immigration reform, with all the potential for disaster that entails. Why is he doing it?
Obviously, Rubio has a personal interest in the topic. The son of Cubans who came to the United States, his life was shaped by immigration. And he represents Florida, where 23 percent of residents are of Hispanic origin. So it's important to him, and to many of his constituents.
"Marco isn't doing this because of politics," says Rubio adviser Todd Harris. "If politics was all that mattered, it probably would have been easier to do nothing. He's doing it because our immigration system is broken." Citing problems with border security, visa security and 11 million immigrants here illegally, Harris adds, "There are a lot of reasons why he supports immigration reform, but none of them have anything to do with politics."
Without suggesting that any of that is untrue, it is nevertheless a fact that politicians consider the political effects of the things they do. So how might Rubio see the upsides and downsides of taking a leading role on a particularly hot-button issue?
"It's a big political risk in Republican primary land, but he will get a needed stature bump," says one veteran GOP operative who supports reform. "And doing the smart thing in the GOP primaries these days is almost always the wrong thing to do if you ever hope to be elected president, as President Romney can now tell you. So the politics are actually good in the longer game, which is the only game that can ever pay off."
That's useful advice, but only if immigration reform turns out to be the kind of issue that wins widespread approval. The problem is, recent polling has shown much public skepticism over the government's ability, or even inclination, to secure the border. And without that security, public approval of immigration reform goes down, down, down -- not just among Republicans, but among independents, too.
That means if Rubio sticks with the Gang of Eight, he might alienate millions of Americans who put security above any other immigration issue, and if he drops out, he might alienate everybody else.
In addition, as far as Republican primary voters are concerned, Rubio has taken a huge risk by hanging out with a bad crowd. McCain, fellow GOP Gang of Eight member Lindsey Graham (known to some critics as "Lindsey Grahamnesty") and Democrat Charles Schumer are not a popular bunch with the GOP base.
The bottom line is that if Rubio is playing a long game, as the GOP strategist suggests, he's running a significant risk of never making it through the Republican primaries. And if he's playing a shorter game, and insists on tough, GOP-pleasing measures, he risks blowing up the whole immigration project and looking like the villain.
And if he's playing no game at all -- if he is really doing it just because he believes it's the right thing to do -- there is still this: When it comes to running for president, voters don't much care about bills passed and votes taken. Barack Obama knew that instinctively. Will Rubio learn the same lesson from immigration reform?
Rubio doomed any presidential hopes he had by teaming up with Chucky Schumer.
If Rubio sticks with the Gang of 8 that is opposed to allowing debate or amendments to their proposed legislation, then I see Rubio as someone who is diametrically opposed to my own beliefs. So, the short answer to the question as to whether it will hurt his Presidential chances is—YES!
Schumer, Durbin, McCain, Grahamnesty, what could go wrong?
Rub already agreed to ‘path to citizenship’. Since then he's been playing ‘bad cop’ with the ‘the bill isnt tough enough’ line.
If its the second and it all blows up that's even better...Obama gets nothing
Any “reform” that doesn’t have as a first step the total control of every kind of access to this country - border, airlines, visas, etc. — is simply keeping what we now have.
The only change that matters is total control of border and access to the country. Period.
Anything else is eyewash.
If Rubio goes forward with anything that does not LEGITIMATELY include a real control means that Rubio already has given up on the presidency.
His chances of being elected are doomed. But he’ll be at the top of Roves’s RINO nomination list. I am now calling those who keep voting for obamas’ policies Rove Republicans.
Getting him involved in this and giving it visibility is definitely a "rope-a-dope" strategy on the part of the left.
Geez, I hope so.
The age-old advice parents give to their teenagers.
Paul/Cruz (or Cruz/Paul) 2014 !!
Actually, we didn't get all the Irish-German-French vote for Ronald Reagan, and if we couldn't do that why imagine Puerto Ricans, New Yoricans, Texicans and Californios will all vote for a Cuban?
Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal are not eligible to serve in the Office of the pPresident or Vice President, because they are not natural born citizens of the United States as required by the natural born citizen clause of the Constitution. The fact that they were born in the United States with the eligibility to adopt native born U.S. citizenship does nothing to change the fact they were natural born citizens of Cuba and India respectively as a consequence of their parents being citizens of those nations at the time of birth. The natural born citizen clause was written for the express purpose stated by John Jay of preventing a person born with allegiance to a foreign sovereign from serving as commander of the American Army in the Office of the President after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Just as a naturalized U.S. citizen is diqualified from the Office of the President because they were natural born citizens of a foreign nation owing allegiance at birth to a foreign sovereign, the person native born in the United States who is also a natural born citizen of a foreign nation owing allegiance at birth to that foreign sovereign is also disqualified from the Office of the president for formerly owing allegiance to the foreign sovereign.
What do you mean? It didn’t stop the Kenyan from getting into office.
Two or more crimes does not make them non-crimes, just as two wrongs do not make them right. Respect the Constitution and the intent or be regarded as one of the enemies of the Cosntitition which the oath of office referenced when saying there is a duty to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.... Any person who deliberately attempts to put an ineligible person in the Office of the President or Vice President is by definition an eney of those sworn to defend the Constitution.
Rubio is already off my list.
He isn’t a NBC to start with. Voting for Rubio would legitimise the reign of the turd we have now, who is also not a NBC.
Yes : I know many do not feel that way, It doesn’t matter.It’s the truth.
His stance on Amnesty only nails down the lid
Only the lowest form of Schmuck would work with Chuck Schumer.
It will, as far as I am concerned.
And the same with Rand Paul.
They are both either naive that border security will be enforced [that can be done with EXISTING laws, if they really intended to do it], or they are in on the shell game the career politicians have been playing for decades.
He’s toast. He probably switches parties because he has zero chance of wining the nom on the right.
“He(Rubio)will get a needed stature bump”.That’s a fact-he’s “elevated” himself to “sell out” status in my book.I regret voting for him-won’t make that mistake again.