Mr. Rubio is far more of a political chameleon than many people think. Back in 2008, he endorsed for president former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas — patron saint of big-government social conservatives everywhere and archenemy of the uber-free-market Club for Growth. Just two years later, Mr. Rubio was elected to the Senate as a straight-up Tea Party darling who was endorsed by that same Club for Growth. After being elected, Mr. Rubio moved to the Republican mainstream, championing comprehensive immigration reform. Now he has more often than not supported President Trump.
What has persisted is Mr. Rubio’s strong desire to influence — some might say single-handedly dictate — United States foreign policy with regard to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Mr. Trump has essentially given him that. The president, as the Florida-based Politico reporter Marc Caputo put it on Twitter, has “given him a major say in Western Hemisphere” policy. In addition, Mr. Caputo also noted that the president has helped Mr. Rubio “rehab his image with the immigration hawks of the party.”
That might prove vital when (not if) Mr. Rubio runs again, especially with many pro-immigration Republicans having either ditched the party full stop or distanced themselves from it in the era of Trump.