For those who may not be quite so enthusiastic about the presidential aspirations of Marco Rubio, he seems to be picking up a new nickname this week: quitter. That’s not an indication that the junior Florida Senator is dropping out of the primary race, but rather that he’s more than eager to quit his job in the Senate. So why bail out on the position which helped him win his current claim to fame? Allegedly he really didn’t like the job once he got there. (Washington Post)
Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator. And he just can’t stand it anymore.
“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio said in an interview. “I’m frustrated.”
This year, as Rubio runs for president, he has cast the Senate — the very place that cemented him as a national politician — as a place he’s given up on, after less than one term. It’s too slow. Too rule-bound. So Rubio, 44, has decided not to run for his seat again. It’s the White House or bust.
“That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate. I am not running for reelection,” Rubio said in the last Republican debate, after Donald Trump had mocked him for his unusual number of absences during Senate votes.
This just seems like a rookie mistake in terms of campaign strategy. It’s one thing to say that your campaign schedule is too packed to make a particular vote or that your main job is constituent services, (true) but to come right out and say that you have so little interest in the job that you just don’t feel motivated to show up and vote doesn’t speak well of your work ethic. What if he gets elected President and find that the partisan log jam in Congress is intolerable and he doesn’t like that job either?
But according to one of his friends who didn’t wish to be named, it goes deeper than that.
“Democrats killed his debt-cutting plans. Republicans killed his immigration reform. The two parties actually came together to kill his AGREE Act, a small-bore, hands-across-the-aisle bill that Rubio had designed just to get a win on something. Now, he’s done. ‘He hates it,’ a longtime friend from Florida said, speaking anonymously to say what Rubio would not.
John Nance Garner is credited as once having said that the job of being Vice President wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. In some regards that’s understandable because you aren’t directly responsible for much of anything beyond diplomatic duties assigned by your boss and basically waiting around to see if he dies. Being in the House or the Senate is another matter entirely. The Vice President is essentially selected only by one person… the presidential nominee. But elected legislators are chosen by the voters of their state or district as the person entrusted with looking out for their interests in the federal government. Also, getting back to the constituent services question, Senators and congressmen can often have a very real and beneficial effect on the day to day lives of real people. In terms of voting, the Senate is still tightly divided and every vote actually does count. It would only take a handful of people to lose interest in showing up before the outcome of many key votes could take off in a very different direction.
Had Rubio not come out at the debate and mentioned it himself, followed by taking questions on it from reporters, I might have written this story off as just another piece of Beltway gossip. But considering that he took himself out of the running for another term before he had any idea how he might fare in the primary this absolutely has the ring of truth to it. You signed up for the job, Senator. Plenty of your constituents probably don’t like their jobs either, but they still have to show up every day and do them. And if you want to be President you need to get on the stick. Nobody likes a quitter.