by Dara Lind | March 15, 2016
Marco Rubio was supposed to be the future of the Republican party: young, intelligent, charismatic — and electable enough to worry Democrats.
Instead, he ended up illustrating just how much trouble his party is in.
Rubio suspended his campaign Tuesday, after a humiliating defeat in his own home state of Florida. Far from being the last Republican standing, he won’t even be the last establishment Republican standing in a primary that generally hasn’t been favorable to establishment Republicans.
It’s easy to write off Rubio’s campaign as doomed to fail — an establishment candidacy in an anti-establishment cycle. But Rubio and his party weren’t exactly blameless victims of history.
Only a few candidates have managed the nomination without winning either the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary. But for some reason, that was the course to the nomination that Rubio’s team charted.
… the Rubio campaign used a different momentum tactic: setting low expectations for Rubio’s performance […] They called it the "3-2-1″ strategy — placing third in Iowa would allow them to place second in New Hampshire, which would give them the momentum to win South Carolina.
Rubio’s momentum was supposed to be 3-2-1; instead, his record shows his failure to gain traction:
By the end of his campaign, Rubio […] somehow decided that the right way to take on bully Donald Trump was to bully him right back — except that Rubio never made a credible bully.
When Rubio insinuated that Donald Trump had a small penis, Trump amplified and rebutted the criticism during a debate — Rubio got all the blowback for his innuendo, with none of the benefits. But when Trump called Rubio "little Marco," it stuck.
Instead of destroying Trump […] Rubio destroyed himself all over again — damaging his support with the campaign media, one of the few constituencies he had left. (Read More)
Read the full commentary on Vox