2016 Is Not That Far Off
With Obama’s second term showing all the momentum of a snail, one can’t help start looking forward to 2016. And some early indications are already surprising. For instance, Karl Rove and the GOP beltway crowd are signaling that a civil war within the GOP is just around the corner. Rove, the Koch brothers, and other large funders are lining up to financially back immigration reform generally and Marco Rubio specifically, portending that they see Rubio as the party’s best bet to grab back two key constituencies for 2016: Latino and young voters.
What’s the winning message that Rove and the beltway GOP want to run on? Hillary is too old and too pro-security. Rubio is young and cool, just don’t pay attention to what he believes or stands for. As Isaac Chotiner of the New Republic noted, with that message Hillary can start her planning for a second term now.
The sight of Rove and other establishment GOP big foots lining up behind Rubio to give him cover for being the darling of immigration reform will only drive the nativist Tea Party base to insist even more strongly that the House GOP caucus kill any comprehensive bill. This in turn can be used by the Democrats to leverage the GOP, as passage of a comprehensive bill is an imperative to the GOP for 2016, and not so much for the Democrats. The added benefit is that Rove’s association with Rubio puts him in a no-win situation: he can be their 2016 darling and anger the Tea Party, or kill his own signature issue to pander to the extremist base and lose the center and look young and foolish in the process.
And is trashing Hillary’s age and centrist tendencies on security a winning hand and contrast against a lightweight, party-dividing presence like Rubio? Running in 2016 on a “Rebuild America” platform at home and a moderation-and-security platform abroad, coming from a seasoned and history-making candidate doesn’t appear to be a good recipe for the GOP.