The meteoric rise and fall of the GOP establishment’s golden child was part delusion, part arrogance and part parallel universe. Republicans and media outlets often commented that Rubio was the candidate with the broadest appeal and the highest expectations. Marcomentum was the rallying cry despite loss after loss in states where he should have been a drawcard. This didn’t seem to faze the robotic Rubio, whose repetitive speeches sounded as if he was already the winner. But after suffering a crippling loss in his home state of Florida, he finally suspended his campaign. So how did the young, bilingual, Tea Party conservative and savior of the GOP fail so dramatically?
Hailed as the Republican Obama, Rubio was the embodiment of the American dream. Unfortunately in a major miscalculation, those voters that Rubio is supposed to appeal to in order to unite and rebrand the party have apparently fled to the Democrats. Minorities were supposed to be attracted to his immigration platform, youth were supposed to like his education plan and the middle class were supposed to be drawn to his working background and relatable struggles. However most of these groups feel that the Republican Party either doesn’t want them, is out of touch or doesn’t understand them, Rubio included. And the Republicans voters who are left are angry and swinging for the outsiders.
Rubio was forced to re-strategize early on as his unstoppable campaign met the immovable Trump. Poor decision making and political inexperience led to Rubio trying on Trump’s pants and finding they didn’t fit – and voters showed their dislike of his insults and bullying tactics at the polls. Backtracking and subsequently appealing to anti-Trump voters in a divisive move didn’t help matters and showed a lack of confidence that Rubio might get anywhere near the nomination. Voters saw right through his desperation and didn’t like what they found: a manufactured, malleable candidate propped up by the elites that were the cause of all their troubles. Thus, rejection.
There are many reasons why Rubio didn’t make it to the presidency, but it comes down to the fact that he simply wasn’t ready for it, and Republicans weren’t ready for him. Luckily Rubio’s ambition, intelligence and youthful good looks are likely to give him a second chance to once again become the party’s saviour.
Think good looks and perfect hair only get you ahead in politics? Think again. Movie for your mood: Zoolander