Following Marco Rubio's crushing loss in Tuesday's Florida primary, the papers have been filled with lots of "What will Marco do next?" stories. Rumors that he might run for governor in 2018 existed even before he dropped out. Though he promised at the outset of his campaign he would not, under any circumstance, pivot to run for reelection to the U.S. Senate, some observers suggested he still could.
Well, Rubio returned to his work in the Senate today and shot down any speculation that he would run for any public office anytime soon.
"I'm not running for governor of Florida," he told reporters.
He also confirmed he won't try to keep his Senate seat. A run against Sen. Bill Nelson, who is up for reelection in 2018 (assuming the 73-year-old does run), also seems unlikely. It's rumored that Gov. Rick Scott has his eye on that race.
But what about being vice president, Rubio?
“I’m not going to be anybody’s vice president," he added.
That's true. The only remaining candidate for whom he'd be a possible match is John Kasich.
So when Rubio's term is up in January 2017, he'll be out of any public job, with no plans to seek a new one.
"I'm going to be a private citizen in January," he confirmed.
Though it might be difficult, forging a new path forward in politics wouldn't impossible for the 44-year-old, several political insiders and strategists said to just about any reporter who asked.
"I don't think he's done. I've not seen anybody in politics who's not had a second act who wants one. He's still a bright, young, charismatic Latino in a party that needs those," Steve Schale, a top Florida Democratic strategist, told the Sun-Sentinel.
Rubio's decision jibes with earlier reports that he didn't like being a senator. He allegedly thought he couldn't get much done and wasn't getting paid enough to secure his family's future.
Rubio's presidential campaign seems as if it always served the dual purpose of being an exit plan from the Senate after a single term without being seen as a quitter.
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It seems like he'll return to the private sector. With such a high profile, he'll certainly find lucrative opportunities on the speaking circuit, perhaps even in media.
After leaving office as governor, Jeb Bush focused on making money in the private sector for ten years before making another run in politics.
Perhaps Rubio, ironically, will follow his former mentor's path.