Election 2020

Boy Wonder Reverses Course on No-Show Job

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Facing a lifetime of solitude away from the cameras and klieg lights, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is having a change of heart:

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who pledged for months not to seek reelection to the Senate as he waged an ill-fated campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, said Wednesday that he is rethinking that decision and could enter the race as soon as next week.

Rubio said his decision followed a Sunday conversation with his friend, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R), who is running to succeed him in the Senate, on the sidelines of the scene of the terrorist attack in Orlando.

“Obviously, I take very seriously everything that’s going on — not just Orlando, but in our country,” Rubio said. “I enjoy my service here a lot. So I’ll go home later this week, and I’ll have some time with my family, and then if there’s been a change in our status I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”

We can’t wait. First-term Senator No-Show blithely chucked his re-election bid in order to “run” for “president,” and in part handed the GOP over to Donald Trump. Now, he’s “reconsidering”?

In that conversation in Orlando, according to a Politico interview with Lopez-Cantera, the lieutenant governor urged Rubio to reconsider his decision not to run and pledged to exit the race if he decided to do so. The primary election is Aug. 30.

“I have asked Sen. Marco Rubio to reconsider his decision and enter the senate race,” Lopez-Cantera wrote to supporters in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Post. “The decision is his and his alone to make. … I am still in this race and nothing has changed. However, if Marco decides to enter this race, I will not be filing the paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate.”

Well, okay then! But remember that this is a seat that didn’t need to be a close-run contest had Rubio not been quite so eager to chuck it for a vanity candidacy.

Before Wednesday, Rubio had not previously acknowledged in explicit terms that he was revisiting his decision not to seek reelection. As recently as mid-May, he was outspoken in his determination to leave the Senate: “I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January,” he tweeted.

But since then, there has been a slow crescendo of speculation that Rubio might reconsider — one that appeared to some observers as a spontaneous draft movement and to others as a meticulously orchestrated marketing campaign. On Monday, Rubio told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he was “deeply impacted” by the Orlando attack and that “it really gives you pause to think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country.”

The word “opportunist” was coined for men like Marco Rubio.