Marco Rubio has taken the stage in his hometown of Miami after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Donald Trump and just told supporters that he is suspending is campaign.
This speech is why so many Democrats feared facing him in the general election. This is Rubio at his best. He told his very compelling life story and spoke to the issues of immigration and income inequality from a point of realism and optimism, while also taking some shots at the establishment. Little too late for that now.
It is amazing to think where he would be in this race had he not melted down in front of Chris Christie just days before the New Hampshire. He was riding a wave of good press after a strong than expected finish in Iowa and was consistently gaining on Donald Trump in the polls in the Granite State.
And then, splat. He had a couple of decent bounce back moments when he finished in second in South Carolina and Nevada but could never keep it going. And going into the gutter to insult Trump’s “hand” size, went against the narrative of the happy warrior he portrayed. Couple all of that with the fact his campaign had a weak ground game, relying on media appearance and debate performances to turn out his supporters, and you see why it didn’t work out.
Now his political career is at a crossroads. Does he bounce back after defeat the way Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon did? Or does he reinforce the John Edwards comparison, minus the affair.
Time will tell. But for today, the dream candidate of the Republican Establishment has finally flat-lined.