The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Two Words: ‘Bench Strength’

Posted on | August 25, 2011 | 6 Comments

Many conservatives were disappointed when Paul Ryan declined to run for president in 2012, and many conservatives — among them Joy McCann at The Conservatory — have raved almost deliriously about Marco Rubio’s speech at the Reagan Library:

I’ve been supporting Marco Rubio, of course, since before I knew who Marco Rubio was. The day “those treacherous bastards” at the NRSC endorsed Charlie Crist (May 12, 2009, a day that will live in infamy) I went all-in for Marco, who at that point was trailing Crist by 35 points in the polls. And it was the video of Marco’s farewell speech to the Florida House that inspired me to write: “[E]verybody who has seen this video is asking the same question: Why in the world would John Cornyn and the NRSC back Charlie Crist against this guy?”

So we know Marco is a winner who gives a great speech and, like Ryan, the freshman senator is not only on everybody’s short list of 2012 running-mate choices, but is also the object of a lot of frustrated desire from conservatives less than impressed with the 2012 GOP primary field. “Why not a Ryan-Rubio ticket? Or a Rubio-Ryan ticket?” goes the refrain of those who want to see the Republican Party nominate dynamic young candidates who can compete with Obama’s youth-vote appeal.

Rubio is 40 and Ryan is 41. In the current field, the two youngest candidates — if you don’t count 51-year-old Governor Asterisk — are Rick Santorum, 53, and Michele Bachmann, 55. All of them are older than President Obama, who just turned 50.

To quote a great man, however, it is history that teaches us to hope. We know that one of the greatest inspirations to young Americans was Ronald Reagan, who was elected president at age 69. And we have reasons to hope that the Republican Party can inspire young voters without nominating young candidates. (And, yes, I know that 47-year-old Sarah Palin is still younger than any of the current candidates.) But the real point is that we ought not be impatient to rush these youngsters into the presidential field.

At this point, Republicans could probably nominate any of the declared candidates (Buddy Roemer!) and still beat Obama. And the fact that the GOP has strong young leaders like Rubio and Ryan rising through the ranks shows the enduring appeal of the conservative message.

There is still the bench strength in the conservative movement, and we need not fear for the future, when we see how the heroic crusade to preserve American liberty continues to rally brave men — and brave women — to its banner.


6 Responses to “Two Words: ‘Bench Strength’”

  1. Anonymous
    August 25th, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    John Cornyn and the NRSC would back Crist because let’s face it, Cornyn, McConnell and Boehner believe deep down they have more in common with Reid, Kerry and Pelosi than they do with the people who vote them into office…

  2. Anonymous
    August 25th, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    All the DC GOP needs replacing. At best they’re Kommiecrat light.

    Rubio should stay in the senate where he is more influencial & hopefully Majority Leader soon.

  3. Adjoran
    August 25th, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    What a load of crap!  They jumped to back Crist because as a popular sitting Governor they thought he was a shoo-in and wanted to get on the bandwagon early.  That’s all.

    It’s a bad policy, IMO, but one which has been going on for years in both the RSCC and DSCC.   It’s a candidate recruitment tool – hey, if you will run for this seat, we’ll back you early so you can get a jump on fundraising.

    Every mistake someone with a leadership position makes is NOT a conspiracy against the right.

  4. Thus Spake Russ » Someday we’ll be saying “President Rubio.”
    August 25th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    […] by the way: remember that Senator Cornyn and the NRSC picked Charlie Crist as their boy for the 2010 Florida senate seat nomination. Make your campaign contributions […]

  5. Joy McCann
    August 25th, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    I didn’t “rave,” and I wasn’t “delerious.”  Sheesh–I wrote a conventional roundup of reactions to the speech.

  6. Lynklly8
    August 26th, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    I like Paul Ryan a lot, but let’s face it… he isn’t yet “blooded”.  Let him get some more experience and in a few years, we will happily elect him president.  Same with Rubio.  At this point, I think Rick Perry is our best hope, and he will not be the “Bush Cowboy” everybody thinks he will be.  Although, I never found anything wrong with the Bush Cowboy.