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Right Turn
Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 06/05/2012

Axelrod: It’s all about identity politics

The Romney camp is out with a new ad that typifies its approach to the Hispanic vote. The English language version is here:

In other words, he is taking his general election message (Obama is rotten for the economy) and making sure Hispanics understand they have been especially hard hit.

President Obama takes a decidedly different approach, sticking to his general election message, which is to have no message, but instead attack Romney and play identity politics. So the ever-more noxious David Axelrod declares: “I think it would be an insult to the Hispanic community to choose Senator Rubio if the thinks that that is somehow — if Governor Romney thinks that’s sort of a get-out-of-jail-free card for all of the things and the positions that he’s taken.”

In making the argument that Rubio is defined purely by his ethnicity (not, for example for his conservative bona fides or foreign policy prowess), Axelrod is engaging in Bigotry 101 — no matter how skilled or exceptional a member of a minority group is, he’s simply a minority. If a Republican did this, the left would be up in arms.

I don’t know if Rubio is on the Romney short list or not. But there is no doubt he’d be qualified to be VP. (He’s more experienced than Obama was when he ran for president.) The Miami Herald reports:

For Rubio, who traveled to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base as a member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, the trip was all business. And that’s pretty typical for the Republican freshmen senator, according to colleagues like Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry and Rubio’s fellow foreign-policy hawk Sen. Joe Lieberman.
“Marco’s not a show horse,” Lieberman said. “He’s a workhorse.”
One day he’ll be giving a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington or the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday. Next, he’ll be lugging Henry Kissinger’s “Diplomacy” tome to a Munich conference, stopping along the way in Madrid to chat with Spain’s prime minister in Spanish as his unilingual Anglo colleagues twiddle their thumbs. He also has travelled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malta, Libya, Haiti and Colombia.
The nation’s political chattering class focuses most heavily on Rubio as a vice-presidential shortlister, but his Senate colleagues can’t help but talk about him becoming a key foreign-policy player as a member of the intelligence and foreign-relations committees.

Believe me, no one on either side of the aisle would ever have referred to Obama as a “work horse” in the Senate. Frankly, Rubio most closely resembles the path then-Sen. Hillary Clinton followed. But heaven forbid she’d be reduced to her gender.

By  |  02:15 PM ET, 06/05/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign, Senate Republicans

 
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