While a raft of candidates compete for the Republican presidential nomination, there's already "a lot of agreement on who the vice presidential pick should be: Marco Rubio," says Stephen Moore in The Wall Street Journal. The freshman senator from Florida is Latino, a conservative Tea Party favorite, and a good bet to move his electorally crucial home state to the Republicans' column. GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney's advisers are already talking up a Romney-Rubio "dream ticket," and the other GOP contenders are on the same page, Moore says. Is Rubio, 40, a shoo-in to be the GOP's No. 2 in 2012?
Rubio would be a strong VP pick: Moore is right that a Latino Tea Partier from Florida is "a match made in heaven" for a more moderate Republican like Romney, says Matthew Hendley in the Palm Beach New Times. Adding to his cachet, Rubio is "on a mean hot streak," winning GOP accolades for a recent, Reaganesque "American Dream-style" speech on the Senate floor. In fact, Rubio has only one real drawback: He says he isn't interested in the job.
"Rubio as Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick a 'dream ticket...'"
Let's face it — he's still too green: An "Anyone-Rubio '12" ticket might look really good on paper, says Joseph Lawler at The American Spectator. But the former Florida State Representative just landed in the Senate a few months ago, so he obviously doesn't have "much of a record on the national scene." The big, unanswered question is "whether his judgment is good enough" that we want him one heartbeat away from the presidency.
It's Rubio's spot to lose: I'd bet money that the Republican VP slot goes to someone who isn't a white male, says Steve M. at Balloon Juice. And "I think that means Rubio," with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley a distant second. Sure, Rubio could always flame out, like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal who "choked in his one shot at the national spotlight." But if the GOP nominee does tap the hawkish, neocon-friendly freshman senator, we'll know, at least, that rumors of the GOP "going dovish and wobbly and isolationist" are just that, rumors.
"Well, so much for the 'Republicans are turning dovish'..."