The media needs a mainstream Republican to talk about. They need to pretend that the two parties are roughly equivalent in common sense and rationality. Therefor it is a fairly safe bet that a lunatic like Rand Paul or Scot Walker isn’t going to get the dubious award of “front runner by media acclimation.” Who will it be then?
The bookmakers appear to be predicting a Rubio surge:
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which as late as Thursday had Christie as the favorite to gain the Republican nomination – laying 4 to 1 odds on it – has dropped Christie behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Christie’s odds now stand at 9 to 2, slightly off those of Rubio, now at 4 to 1.
Paddy Power has Christie and Rubio both at 10 to 1 to win the presidency, while it places Hilary Clinton at 2 to 1.
Having stumbled himself among the GOP base by suggesting that immigration reform is something we should be working on, Rubio has recently attempted to mend fences with the GOP’s hyper-angry primary voters by suggesting an elimination of all federal welfare programs in-favor of block grants to states. In addition to sounding a federalist note, this plan is apparently geared to making it easier for congress to reduce the peanuts we spend on poverty while making it easier for red state governors to further punish the poor for the crime of being poor.
…a larger, philosophical problem with Rubio’s kind of federalism, though, and it’s one that’s all too easily seen in America’s recent history. As the Daily Beast’s Jamelle Bouie notes, one need not engage in wild fantasy in order to envision the consequence of giving so much authority to the states. Just look at Medicaid, a program that gives the states great discretion for establishing standards of their own, and you’ll find that benefits are far more generous in blue states than in red.
While this sensibility might win over GOP primary voters, it appears to be out of step with the country at large. Shocking, I know.