Requiem for a Lightweight
Tim Alberta at National Review Online has an excellent post-mortem on Rubio’s failed campaign. It includes some interesting details on strategic mistakes made by Rubio’s campaign, from the decision to rely on news coverage instead of shoe leather, the candidate’s laser-like focus on talking points and staying ‘on message’, to how having the best biography, by itself, doesn’t give you a win.
It turns out that if you want to win the presidency, you actually need to work for it. Who knew?
He campaigned on the ground so infrequently for much of the campaign that even some supporters questioned how hard he was willing to work to get elected. He refused to play for wins, choosing instead to position himself as everyone’s second choice in hopes of becoming the consensus unifier as the field winnowed. And his strategy was one-dimensional, leaning so heavily on personality and biography that his concrete proposals — aimed at convincing voters that he knew how to solve their problems, not just how to relate to them — never broke through.
The story of Rubio’s losing 2016 campaign is not simply that these shortcomings did him in; it’s that they were apparent early on and were ignored by a candidate and a team convinced that star power alone was enough to overcome them.
Read the whole thing. It’s probably one of the better analyses of the Rubio disaster that we’ll get this soon out of the gate.