Will it be Rubio, by Acclamation?

For vice president?  It's beginning to seem that way.  Romney's senior people are touting the Florida senator for the second slot.  So are innumerable journalists.  Rubio was asked this week at his speech at the Reagan Library if he would consent to run as the Number Two in 2012.  He said he was flattered, but said no.  He puckishly joked that he wouldn't want to be an understudy to anyone who planned to live out eight years.

It's worth watching Sen. Marco Rubio's speech at the Reagan Library.  He caught a faltering Nancy Reagan as the frail former First Lady tripped and nearly fell.  Lady Liberty, too, needs steadying.

So why not Marco Rubio for vice president?  Republicans and pundits seem to agree that he's a superlative communicator.  But he's so young.  And he's been in the Senate less than a year.

The attempt to nominate Rubio for vice president is fraught with problems.  The hope, clearly, is that Rubio on the ticket would persuade large numbers of Americans of Hispanic descent to leave the Democrats and vote for the GOP.

It won't.  We have lots of experience to show that voters aren't moved by the Number Two slot.  Remember Geraldine Ferraro and the Gender Gap?  Fritz Mondale chose her to shake things up and hopefully to attract huge numbers of women voters.  The media went wild.  The voters didn't.  Ferraro for vice president did not attract women voters, Catholic voters, Italian-Americans, New Yorkers.  She didn't even carry her own Queens congressional district for Mondale-Ferraro.

Sarah Palin got a lot of conservatives and pro-lifers excited, but she certainly did not swing large numbers of women voters to back Sen. McCain's bid.

It's not only women who are not moved by Number Two selections.  Sen. Lloyd Bentsen was supposed to pull in Southerners and Texans for Mike Dukakis.  The media touted "the Boston-Austin axis."  It didn't work.  Nor did putting North Carolina's John Edwards on the Kerry ticket help.  Southern voters and Tarheel state voters stayed away.

Go way back.  In 1968, Sen. Ed Muskie was supposed to bring in dissatisfied white ethnics.  They left the Humphrey-Muskie ticket in droves.  Ditto Sargent Shriver.  Pro-lifer Shriver was supposed to assuage the concerns of Catholic Democrats in 1972 and reconcile them to George McGovern.  But Nixon carried 49 states.

Okay.  If the Number Two position doesn't help the ticket win, isn't it still a good career move for the person elected vice president?  Ask Hubert Humphrey.  Or Dan Quayle.  Or even Al Gore.  The vice presidency may not be as worthless as a warm bucket of...oops, sorry, this is a family blog.  I was only going to quote Cactus Jack Garner, FDR's two-term veep.  But it is not the best of political prizes for anyone.

The liberal media was absolutely vicious toward Quayle and Palin, in particular.  They gave a pass to John Edwards on everything from his $400 haircuts to his runaway girlfriends.

They let Joe Biden's foreign policy credentials go unchallenged.  For forty years, Joe Biden had been a perfect fool in the Senate, but everyone on the press bus averted their eyes to get Obama elected.

The media's excuse for grilling the GOP vice presidential candidates is that they stand "a heartbeat away from the presidency."  I wish they had so zealously examined Barack Obama, whose heart beats within the presidency.

The fact is, on this one, the media is right: we have had 43 men as our presidents (Grover Cleveland gets counted twice, but he was just one man serving two non-consecutive terms.)  Of that number, six have become president after serving less than six months as vice president.  They were Tyler, A. Johnson, Arthur, T. Roosevelt, Truman, and Ford.

Therefore, to say Rubio is qualified to be vice president is to acknowledge that he is qualified to be president.  Or, he'd better be.  The media's purpose in savaging Quayle and Palin was to convince voters they were not ready to be president.

All those who are pushing Marco Rubio for vice president are truly saying he's ready to be president.  I think he is.  Watch him deliver the Reagan Library speech and see how he handles the Q&A.  Watch him put CBS liberal Bob Schieffer away, but nicely.  And note how he dispatched the insufferable John Kerry on the Senate floor, "with all due respect."

None of our announced candidates communicates this well. They are all running even or slightly behind Barack Obama, the failed leader of a failed administration.

Marco Rubio and Jon Kyl would carry forty states and bring in a solidly conservative Senate and House -- without tearing the social fabric.

For those of us who served and loved Ronald Reagan, it was exciting to see the strongest of conservatives communicating high ideals in the most winsome way.  Conservatives need the bully pulpit of the White House more than liberals do.  They have Hollywood, the media, academe, the unions, and the bureaucracy.  Ronald Reagan was a match, and more than a match, for all of the above.

So is Marco Rubio.  Teamed with the respected Jon Kyl, he will once again revive the Great Republic, as Ronald Reagan did.  Isn't that what we want?

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