Speed Reads

Where's Marco?

Marco Rubio is MIA in Iowa, critics say

The Senate isn't the only place marking Marco Rubio down as absent; critics say the Republican presidential candidate is also MIA in Iowa, home to the 2016 election's first caucus. "He did all the big cattle calls, but he didn't put in the work on the ground either prior or post those events," Steve Deace, an Iowa radio host who endorsed rival Ted Cruz, said, adding that a caucus "requires months of relationship-building that he never did."

At many town halls, Rubio reportedly takes a minimal number of questions and doesn't interact much with the media. Recently, at a candidate forum in Des Moines, for instance, Rubio made a quick departure after speaking. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, The Washington Post reports, stuck around until "nearly midnight."

Some worry that Rubio has already missed the boat on snagging some key constituencies, and others worry that it might point to a bigger issue in the campaign:

That may be, as some of his allies fret privately, a sign of overconfidence in his own abilities. Or it may be a smart strategic decision that the personal touch is overrated in an era in which celebrity billionaire Donald Trump is leading the field with a campaign that consists largely of mega-rallies, barrages of tweets, and television interviews that are literally phoned in. [The Washington Post]