The New York Times headlines: “Prospect of Hillary Clinton-Marco Rubio Matchup Unnerves Democrats.” As well it should:
They use words like “historic” and “charismatic,” phrases like “great potential” and “million-dollar smile.” They notice audience members moved to tears by an American-dream-come-true success story. When they look at the cold, hard political math, they get uneasy.
An incipient sense of anxiety is tugging at some Democrats — a feeling tersely captured in four words from a blog post written recently by a seasoned party strategist in Florida: “Marco Rubio scares me.”
The one who should really scare them is Hillary Clinton, as her ineptitude as a candidate becomes more palpable with every passing day. But the strategists quoted by the Times have a point: at this stage, the Republican who poses the starkest and most favorable contrast with Hillary is Rubio:
Democrats express concerns not only about whether Mr. Rubio, 43, a son of Cuban immigrants, will win over Hispanic voters, a growing and increasingly important slice of the electorate. They also worry that he would offer a sharp generational contrast to Mrs. Clinton, a fixture in American politics for nearly a quarter-century who will turn 69 less than two weeks before the election.
Do you think? Are Democrats really figuring this out just now?
Characteristically, even as they acknowledge his potential strength as a candidate, the Democrats can’t resist ripping him. Note the silly stereotypes they engage in while doing so:
“I think they do underestimate him,” [John] Morgan added. “He’s energetic, he’s photogenic, and he will say whatever you want him to say.”
What is that supposed to mean? Marco has always been his own man. He got his start taking on the establishment, in the form of incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Crist. And he has been remarkably consistent on the issues.
This one is equally oblivious:
Mr. Gelber praised Mr. Rubio’s ability to use his family’s story to convey compassion for people marginalized by society, but he said he believed, as many Democrats do, that this was disingenuous.
“It’s a little maddening when his policies are so inconsistent with that,” Mr. Gelber said. “My head would explode.”
The Democrats have been in power for six years, while wages have fallen, unemployment and underemployment have persisted, poverty has increased, food stamp usage has reached unprecedented heights, and economic inequality has widened. Yet they are so thick-skulled that they think it is tautological that their policies favor the poor and the downtrodden. They apparently are unable to comprehend that conservatives like Rubio (and us) actually believe that conservative policies work best, especially for those who are trying to climb the ladder of opportunity.
Maybe this is one of the reasons why Democrats tend to underestimate not just a politician like Marco Rubio, but Republicans in general.