Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Rubio/Ryan Screen Test for 2016

A month after Obamageddon, survivors of the ruins start makeovers for another presidential faceoff. The test runs suggest Paul Ryan will need more cosmetic help than Marco Rubio to play GOP champion of the middle class in 2016.

Trading quips about “good diners” in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the young front runners address a tribute dinner to Jack Kemp, a former quarterback who is now joining the former actor Ronald Reagan in the moderate Republican pantheon.

For Rubio, rebranding requires less of a stretch than it does for Ryan.

The son of Cuban exiles has next generation written all over him. A Catholic, married to a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and father of four, he has been called “The First Catholic Protestant Senator” for ties to both his own church and evangelicals. As Romney’s running mate, the ticket would very likely have won Florida and done better with Latinos elsewhere in a closer contest last month.

In an August convention speech, Rubio hit all the themes he will have to develop in the next four years, last night adding an anecdote about catering employees who afterward welcomed him as one of their own.

Ryan, to use Sarah Palin’s immortal image, will need much more lipstick for the pit bull he played this year and still resembles in the current fiscal cliff battle in Congress.

“The American people have again chosen divided government and it’s up to us to make this divided government work,” he now tells GOP diners. “We’ve got to set aside partisan considerations in favor of one overriding concern: How can we work together to repair the economy? How can we provide real security and upward mobility for all Americans--especially those in need?”

Say what? Unless future voters suffer from complete amnesia, that new Paul Ryan will be a hard sell.

Any word yet from Jeb Bush?

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