Marco Rubio may be well ahead in the polls, but he hasn't even won the GOP nominations for Senate yet, let alone the actual general election. That hasn't stopped one conservative columnist with a prominent Rubio-induced rager from talking up the Miami lad as a 2012 presidential contender.
"I believe that if Marco Rubio goes on to win the U.S. Senate seat in Florida in November, he should immediately think about running for president -- possibly in 2012," writes Matt Lewis over at AOL's Politics Daily.
Considering that part of Charlie Crist's popularity downfall had to do with what some saw as unbridled ambition with an eye towards the White House -- or at least a VP nomination -- at the expense of serving Florida, such talk might not actually be that helpful.
Lewis, of course, notes that Barack Obama announced his intentions to run for president about two years into his first term in the Senate, and that seemed to work out. However, if Rubio wins in 2010 he'd have to start laying the groundwork for a presidential bid almost before he was even sworn in. That might leave a bad taste in some voters' mouths.
Lewis then admits that a VP run might make a bit more sense, but, even then, running in the primary wouldn't hurt and would introduce him to a national audience.
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That's nice and all (and as Lewis admits, the GOP could use a young Hispanic to rally around to prove they're not all old white men), but considering that our last elected senator, Mel Martinez, decided to quit abruptly and that Florida is in the economic crapper, the Sunshine State really needs a dedicated Senator right now. A lot more than the Republicans need someone to lose to Obama in 2012.