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News Wednesday, Feb 10 2016

Rubio Failing The Commander-in-Chief Test

Feb 10, 2016

As much as we don’t doubt that the 3-5-1 plan will be a smashing success, it’s important to remember what’s really at stake this election, and the Commander – in – Chief test that Marco Rubio is massively failing.  Don’t take it from us– Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins points out that Rubio hasn’t been up to the pressure all along:

Though generally seen as cool-headed and quick on his feet, Rubio is known to friends, allies, and advisers for a kind of incurable anxiousness — and an occasional propensity to panic in moments of crisis, both real and imagined.

For all Rubio’s efforts at image control, he sometimes allows involuntary glimpses at his inner anxieties. For example, Rubio’s 2012 memoir, American Son, is — when read a certain way — less an inspiring tale of his unlikely rise to power, and more a harrowing chronicle of self-doubt and misery in the political arena. Indeed, for a politician defined by his sunny message and soaring rhetoric, Rubio’s 2010 Senate bid sounds, in his telling, like a merciless assault on his psyche: the race a gut-twisting roller coaster ride on which he was constantly convinced the next track-rattling twist, turn, or plummet would throw him from the cart and send him plunging to his death. The account is peppered with words like “inevitable humiliation,” “destined for failure,” and “despair.”

And look at his aides dishing (!) on the candidate getting in his own head to the New York Times:

Over the next 24 hours, as Mr. Christie gloated in television interviews and on the stump, Mr. Rubio angrily groused to advisers about news coverage claiming he had lost his momentum.

His aura of unflappability pierced, the senator’s opponents pounced — and, to their surprise, he kept looking off-balance. On Mondaymorning, Mr. Rubio was unusually listless and humorless during a town-hall-style meeting. He paused to reflect on the last 24 hours and the fight he foresaw ahead — “a very messy and competitive process,” he said.

He was right. A few hours later, at a different event, he inadvertently repeated a line from his stump speech, in an unfortunate echo of his debate mishap. By Primary Day, he was followed from event to event by hecklers who dressed as robots to lampoon his mechanical debate performance.

A few hours later, what was supposed to be a night of triumph turned into a doleful evening of defeat.

Before a dejected crowd that filled just two-thirds of a hotel ballroom here, Mr. Rubio had decided to acknowledge what had become an agonizing reality to everyone around him.

It was all his fault.

And Glenn Thrush in Politico points out a truly disqualifying episode— if you can’t stand up to Eddie Vale with a colander on his head, how we possible trust you to stand up to Vladimir Putin?

The whole episode seemed to demoralize Rubio, and his mood wasn’t helped by the fact that veteran union official Eddie Vale stalked him in a kitschy “Day the Earth Stood Still” robot costume consisting of a cardboard box and repurposed salad colander.

Unfair as it was, the sight of Vale sprinting toward a frozen-smile Rubio and his press contingent at a high school here on Tuesday(clutching his colander with both hands so it wouldn’t fall off) somewhat undercut Rubio’s core message as steely, ready-from-day-one commander-in chief. Such is politics. In the end, he finished in fifth place. Rubio’s Big Mo is now micro mo.

Published: Feb 10, 2016

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