Having once worked as a gay prostitute-- he was young and desperate-- Marco Rubio probably knows more about male genitalia than your run-of-the-mill male politician. Frank Bruni referenced this, obliquely, in his NY Times column this morning, Marco Rubio Deserves Ivanka Trump. "Will," he asks, "the senator’s sycophancy and shape-shifting come to naught?" That wasn't the make genitalia part. Although that came quickly-- the first paragraph in fact: "It’s a measure of the Republican Party’s current depravity that I think of the period when Marco Rubio was besmirching Donald Trump’s genitalia as the good old days," wrote Bruni. "It was early 2016, Trump hadn’t yet locked down the Republican presidential nomination and Rubio, smarting from Trump’s nickname for him ('Little Marco') and cracks about his overactive sweat glands, began pointing voters toward Trump’s private parts. 'He’s, like, 6-2, which is why I don’t understand why his hands are the size of someone who’s 5-2,' Rubio told voters at a campaign rally in late February that year. 'Have you seen his hands? And you know what they say about men with small hands.' In that age of innocence, we were talking and even laughing about the nether regions of Republican anatomy. Five years later, we’re talking and most certainly not laughing about the nether regions of Republican morality, which Rubio plumbs as shamelessly as his more exposed Senate colleagues Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton do."
Bruni's all worked up over the idea of Rubio running for president in 2024, but is very cognizant that his 2022 Senate reelection campaign comes first and is not a lock. The Florida Democratic establishment has nothing to offer-- only guaranteed losers like New Dem Val Demings or Blue Dogs Stephanie Murphy or Charlie Crist. Rubio already beat Crist and there's no reason to believe that any of these losers would do any better than the last worthless establishment Dem who ran against Rubio-- the hapless Patrick Murphy did. In 2016, Murphy spent $19,030,002 to Rubio's $21,836,840 and scored 4,122,088 votes (44.3%) to Rubio's 4,835,191 (52.0%). I doubt any of the 3 establishment Dems would even do as well as that. None of them have anything whatsoever to offer... except, of course, their own naked-- albeit lazy-- ambition and ugly careerism.
I've been trying to persuade former Orlando congressman Alan Grayson to run. He would love to take on Rubio and have a campaign that pits a progressive agenda against a conservative agenda, but that isn't what Chuck Schumer is looking for. And someone as independent-minded as Grayson isn't what Schumer has in mind. He'd rather lose with a political nebbish like Demings, Charlie Crist or Murphy than win with a progressive like Grayson.
Referring to Rubio's schmegeggie-like career Grayson told me today that "This is what happens when you spend a decade on the Senate, and you literally have nothing to show for it. The Senate Doorkeeper has accomplished more than he has." Bruni makes the case against Rubio more conventionally (after the bit about the male genetalia) and dangles the idea of a Republican primary pitting Ivanka against him. "The shiniest Trump," he wrote, "and her smug husband, pariahs now in New York City, have moved on, and there’s some speculation that their relocation presages a Senate candidacy for her in 2022, when Rubio is up for re-election. She’d potentially challenge him in the Florida Republican primary. Now there’s a reason to sweat. Rubio confronts what Republican lawmakers all over the country do, the prospect of being ousted, en route to their general elections, by rivals who are even Trumpier than they are. Only there’s no out-Trumping an actual Trump. And there’s no defaming this Trump progeny without inflaming the Trump patriarch. Ivanka would be Rubio’s worst nightmare. She’d also be his perfect comeuppance. He would have done all that shape-shifting, summoned all that sycophancy and sold out for naught... Rubio says whatever he feels that the moment demands, whatever keeps the wind in his sails, because he’s unfazed by the fact that he once said something completely different, by the possibility that he’ll contradict himself down the line or by the bald selectiveness of his self-righteousness."
Rubio is the living truth that "while Trump may be gone from the White House, he remains deeply present in Washington, because it’s lousy with minions who remade themselves in his image. Rubio’s fate was to become what Trump once called him, not just exuberantly but prophetically: a little man, at least by the yardstick of integrity, which is the only endowment that matters."
Marc Caputo, predicably, made the case for Politico readers that as things stand now, Rubio can't be beaten by a Democrat. He's right-- with one exception, the one the establishment Democrats will never willingly turn to: Alan Grayson.