Put his name down, right alongside Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee — coincidentally, the other three 2016 no-hope candidates who have already more or less announced they’re running for the White House:
Sen. Marco Rubio has begun taking concrete steps toward launching a presidential bid, asking his top advisors to prepare for a campaign, signing on a leading Republican fundraiser, and planning extensive travel to early-voting states in the coming weeks, ABC News has learned. “He has told us to proceed as if he is running for president,” a senior Rubio advisor tells ABC News.
Leading the effort to raise the $50 million or more he’ll need to run in the Republican primaries will be Anna Rogers, currently the finance director for American Crossroads, the conservative group started by Karl Rove that raised more than $200 million to help elect Republicans over the past two elections.
Rogers will begin working at Rubio’s political action committee on February 1 and would become the finance director of Rubio’s presidential campaign.
That bit about Anna Rogers, one of the Rove operatives, is mildly interesting. And not in a good way; Rubio is largely a creation of the Jeb Bush machine in Florida.
Rubio will never be president for a bunch of reasons: he blotted his copybook with his ill-advised Gang of Eight immigration fiasco, thus proving himself to be a “Hispanic” senator first and a conservative second; he’s unimpressive on the stump and will find it difficult to rally the red-meat base in a way that, say, Ted Cruz or Scott Walker or even a retread Rick Perry could; Cubans, by and large, do not appeal to other Hispanics, especially Mexicans; and he has his share of skeletons in his closet which could pop out to haunt him should he make a play for the national stage.
Rubio, 43, will gather on Friday and Saturday at the Delano Hotel in Miami with 300 supporters and major donors to his Reclaim America PAC to discuss his political future. Aides expect Rubio will make a final decision in the comings weeks, but his schedule for the next month already looks more like the schedule of a presidential candidate than a senator.
ABC News has learned Rubio plans to skip all votes in the Senate next week and instead take a campaign fundraising swing through California with events in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Rancho Sante Fe and Costa Mesa. He also plans fundraising stops in Texas and Chicago.
Let’s see: a freshman senator who plans to skip all votes in the Senate next week in order to fund-raise and campaign for a higher office. Where have we seen that before?