Will Rubio Really Give Up His Senate Seat?

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) “is moving full throttle towards a White House bid, hitting the road hard to raise money and elevate his profile. While allies and advisors say he hasn’t made a final decision, most now privately expect he’ll take the plunge,” The Hill reports.

“It’s a gamble for the 43 year-old Rubio, who has to choose between running for another Senate term next year and undertaking a White House bid. Staying in the Senate is the surer bet, though reelection isn’t guaranteed in swing-state Florida.”

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  • CaptainCommonsense

    Please do, Marco.

    The Democratic party would love to have your seat be an Open contest.

  • Lynda Groom

    Someone how I can’t believe that young Rubio will give up that well paying part time job with such great benefits. Then again he’s not the sharpest pencil in the box.

    • Bonzi77

      As cushy a job as being Senator is, making 5 figures a speech whenever you feel like it is even more so.

      • Lynda Groom

        He’s been doing both.

        • along

          no, speaking fees or honorariums for sitting members of Congress have been prohibited since 1989. Outside income allowed is mostly in the form of investments.
          http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4515185/members-congress-outside-income

          • Lynda Groom

            I stand corrected. Thank you.

          • embo66

            “Outside income allowed is mostly in the form of investments.”

            Made all the more lucrative with insider knowledge of how the government may or may not act.

  • along

    Factored into that potential gamble, though, is the high likelihood that, should he not win the nomination, he will be chosen for the ticket. In fact, he’s the most likely Veep choice even if he doesn’t run. So as far as the party is concerned, his Senate seat is at risk either way. It might be better to run for President now, and allow the party to choose the best candidate to run for his seat. Or, even more definitive, resign from the Senate, and let Scott appoint someone to fill out his term, and run with an incumbent advantage.

    • JavaMan

      I would think that, should Rubio wind up office-less in 2017, the most attractive option for him to stay active politically would be to run for FL-Gov in 2018 with Rick Scott term limited. He would be in his mid-40s, and if he does the yeoman’s work of running a state for 4 or 8 years he would be well positioned for a strong charge at the GOP nomination for the Presidency in future years as VP or top of the ticket. He has a long time before he appears to be too old to run.

      Rubio’s main competitor in the 2018 FL-Gov GOP nomination, should he hold his Senate seat or not allow for the GOP to properly gin up someone to run in his place, would be AG Pam Bondi. Bondi would be able to solve that dilemma and effectively clear the 2018 field as a back-up for Rubio if she were to run for Rubio’s seat in 2016.

      The nomination itself may be something of a long shot with such a divided field, but I agree with your assessment that this is a judicious move with a lot of differing upsides available to Rubio.

      • gomer0

        I think Bondi is damaged by the fundraising/death penalty issue. Republicans will probably be smart to run CFO Jeff Atwater who represented parts of Palm Beach and Broward county when he was in the statehouse for governor.

        • JavaMan

          Hmmm, mayyybe. I don’t know if the death penalty fundraiser is as well known to her electorate as it is for news junkies. However, even assuming that is the case, be it Bondi, Atwater, or Other, there is a deep enough bench in Florida for Rubio to want to clear the field.

          If there are openings in Florida for ambitious statewide elected officials to get nominations to run for Rubio’s seat in ’16 and against Bill Nelson (or whomever) in ’18, that plus a war chest should effectively leave Rubio with plenty of room to run for Governor in ’18 if he is without office (unless he angles full steam ahead to the next Presidential election, but that might wear out his future if he doesn’t win immediately).

    • Unless Jeb gets the nomination. Constitutionally, they couldn’t take Florida’s EVs if both on the ticket hailed from there. Unless one were to re-register, like Cheney did.

  • Cory

    In order, I think Rubio would prefer to be:

    1. President
    2. Vice-President
    3. Governor of Florida
    4. U.S. Senator

    He’ll try to be the nominee for #1, if that doesn’t work he’ll hope that he’s chosen as nominee for #2. If neither of those work out, he’ll run for #3. And to do all that, he has to give up #4.

    • Gumby

      True. With an open seat in Florida seat 2018 for Governor and Democrats still with a weak bench, Rubio could always give that a go. Heck, Bill Nelson might retire in 2018 and Rubio could have a choice between a return to the Senate or Governor.

    • OwenPHL

      A side question: so why was Paul Ryan allowed to run for Congress and VP at the same time in 2012?

      • terjeanderson

        Different states have different laws about whether a candidate can be on the ballot for more than one office at the same time. Wisconsin doesn’t prohibit it, Florida does.

        Most allow it — that’s why Ryan, Biden, Lieberman and Bentsen all were able to do it.

        But some don’t – which right now is a problem for Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, since their states don’t.

        • At what point would Rubio have to decide? Right now, there isn’t that much downside for him to explore Presidential prospects. If he doesn’t pick up traction, he can throw in the towel and run for Senate, dropping that bid if he gets picked for a VP running mate. But if he starts to pick up some traction for a Presidential bid, at some point he’ll come to a fork in the road where he will have to decide to continue with one or the other. Do you know what the deadline is? Could he go through Iowa and New Hampshire, for example, before having to commit?

          • terjeanderson

            The Florida primary for Senate and other offices in 2016 is currently scheduled for August 30 — and the filing deadline appears to be early May.

            So he certainly would have plenty of time to get his butt handed to him in places like IA, NH and SC and still withdraw and come back home to run for re-election.

            Florida Republicans would probably become antsy at some point about him making a decision — to give a replacement candidate time to organize and fundraise. But any candidates who announced for the seat would probably withdraw if Rubio decided to run again.

  • growe

    I guess we will find out how rational Marco really is.
    Rational will be a vanity campaign as far as possible;
    Then withdrawl before he’d have to give up his cushy Senate seat.
    Irrational would be sitting in single digits and claiming you are in it to win it.
    Not impossible, but I assume someone who got to Florida Speaker is not that lame.

    • JavaMan

      For whatever reason, Rubio was Speaker of the FL House for only 2 years. And it seemed as though there was a long string of FL Speakers who each only served one two-year cycle in that role.

      I’m not sure if it’s about spreading the bona fides around, term limits (does FL House have them? I wouldn’t think so), frequent scandal among leadership, or what. But still – being Speaker in Florida could have been a relatively quick pit stop for Rubio or many other pols.

      • growe

        Interesting; well I assume Speaker is still a powerful position, and finding a way to earn your colleagues’ vote for the job shows some political skill and wit?

    • navamske

      Not impossible, but I assume someone who got to Florida Speaker is not that lame.

      He was lame enough to say, when defending himself against charges that he and Mrs. Rubio took too many trips at government expense, “My wife was First Lady of the Florida legislature.”

      • growe

        Good Lord!!

  • ryp

    I think he has until April or May of 2016 to pull the trigger on a senate re-election run, though practically he needs to signal earlier so that others can gear up for a run if he doesn’t. He can waffle on his commitment for most of 2015 and see if he has a real shot at the nomination. Theoretically he could go all the way to the early contests, and if he’s still in the back of the pack, drop out and run for re-election, and still argue that he was never running for both simultaneously. Florida’s presidential primary is held way ahead off the rest of their primary races, which were in August in 2012.

  • navamske

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) “is moving full throttle towards a White House bid, hitting the road hard to raise money and elevate his profile. While allies and advisors say he hasn’t made a final decision, most now privately expect he’ll take the plunge,” The Hill reports.

    Rubio has a thirst for power.

  • littlejohn

    Rubio is polling at 3% in the primary poll. I say quit your Senate seat (and allow a Democrat to have a good chance for it) and run for President!

  • alrudder

    Who is on the D’s bench? I hope Kendrick Meek, he was a fantastic Senate candidate.

    • Antonin Dvorak

      There are rumblings about Rep. Patrick Murphy, due to his moderate creds. Though, he may come across as a neophite having only two terms in the house. Also, he may not want to give up his seat for which he only got nominal GOP challenge. Other than that, maybe some big city mayors, Iorio, Buckhorn, Dyer, or Brown.

  • Boudica

    Is this an effort to make himself an outsider?