Rubio the Rebel

So it’s becoming more apparent every day that the Republican presidential candidate best positioned to become the Establishment savior against Donald Trump and the rest of the zero-experience sub-field is Marco Rubio, whose favorable/unfavorable ratings have been sterling all along, and who has avoided the constant gaffes being committed by the figure who overshadowed him in Florida and nationally, Jeb Bush.

In the current atmosphere of Republican opinion, of course, you don’t want to be known as the Establishment candidate, so Rubio is busy telling Iowa voters that the powers-that-be really, really don’t like him, per this report from The Hill‘s Mark Hench:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Thursday night that the GOP establishment has harassed him at every stage of his political career, digging in on his claim to be a party outsider.

Rubio argued in Davenport, Iowa, that he had seen meddling from the Republican elites in both his 2010 Senate campaign and his current 2016 presidential bid.

“Four years ago, for the United State Senate, the establishment was actively trying to undermine my candidacy,” Rubio told listeners, according to National Journal.

“The truth of the matter is, when I decided to run for the presidency, all the same people that told me not to run for the Senate came out of the woodwork again and said, ‘it’s not your turn; you haven’t been around long enough; we’re all going to line up behind somebody else,” he said.

Trouble is, before Rubio was messing with the Establishment via an unscheduled run for the Senate, he was one of its avatars, serving as Speaker of the Florida House. And I don’t know exactly how he’s going to keep angry “populist” voters in Iowa or anywhere else from noticing that the people they hate in the party are steadily gravitating from Jebbie to Marco.

Seems Rubio needs some serious rebel branding. Maybe he could adopt this as his campaign song:

He could probably pick up a used motocycle jacket from Scott Walker, too.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.