Marco Rubio was the chosen one. He was the candidate that was going to represent conservatism while bringing pragmatists over to the right wing of the party. He was the face, the voice, and the future of the Republican party. There was really nothing that could have stopped him once he demonstrated domination over his mentor Jeb Bush in the fall of 2015.
Then, Marco Rubio happened. He proved to be a lazy campaigner and an ineffective fundraiser. He received a good number of endorsements from important people, but not really because of his ability to convince them. They fell in line for the most part because he wasn’t Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. His history has been called into question and he had a penchant for missing votes in the Senate. Marco Rubio lost because of Marco Rubio.
Tomorrow is his last stand. Barring some tremendous miracle, he will end his campaign and will reluctantly support Ted Cruz for President. Chances are that he won’t outright endorse Cruz immediately. He’s finished in the Senate and his future is now in doubt. He doesn’t have a ton of money sitting in the bank so it’s not like he can pick and choose where he’s going to spend the next four to eight years plotting his comeback. He needs to work and if there’s a place in a Cruz administration for him, he’ll take it.
Rubio’s not done. He is too young and ambitious to take this as anything other than the same types of pains that past nominees like Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney have had to endure in losing primaries. If the Republicans lose this winter, he’ll be back in four years. If they win, he’ll be back in eight to twelve. Regardless of what happens, he’ll take what he’s learned and come back stronger.
This has been such a disappointing campaign for both the Establishment’s golden boy and his supporters, but it’s not the end of Marco Rubio.