If you had any doubts about Marco Rubio’s future in politics, either tomorrow or four years from now, you can probably put them to rest. There’s very little question that Rubio will be the nominee to fight for another term in his current Senate seat and I wouldn’t put much money on his Democratic opponent in the general election. But will he be sticking around in the Senate for six more years or is he just keeping his hand in the game so he can make another run for the White House in 2020? (Assuming, of course, that Donald Trump loses.)
Judging by his response to a related question during an interview yesterday there isn’t much of a mystery there either. (Politico)
Marco Rubio on Monday refused to commit to serving a full six-year term in the Senate should he win reelection. And the former Republican presidential candidate subtly suggested that if he ran for the White House again, he would be prepared to leave politics behind if he lost.
“No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future’s gonna hold in your life personally or politically,” the Florida senator told CNN on Monday, opening the door for a presidential run when asked if he could commit to a full Senate term before seemingly slamming it shut in the next breath.
Let’s jump in the Way Back Machine here for a moment. In 2006, Hillary Clinton was running for a second term in the Senate and her opponent, former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer, made a point during one of their debates of asking whether or not she would commit to serving a full six year term. She wouldn’t say one way or the other, but it prompted at least a few of the bored political reporters to follow up on the question later. (They were bored because Clinton was leading by more than thirty points in the polls and everyone knew the election was just window dressing.) The reason for her vague response was obvious to everyone. She had zero intention of sticking around and was already planning the new furniture in the Oval Office, but nobody really pressed her on the issue.
This is one of the built-in problems of running for the presidency from the Senate. You’ll always be asked this question just as Rubio was unless, of course, your Senate term happens to line up with a presidential election year. Rubio knew this was coming and there really wasn’t much he could say. He’s already declared that he hates his job and told everyone he was quitting. Now that he’s running again, his reasons come across as painfully transparent. But still, it looks like the people of Florida are going to be willing to give him another turn at the wheel, so much like Hillary, it may turn out to be no harm, no foul.