Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was everywhere on Sunday, dashing from Sunday show to Sunday show.


Sen. Marco Rubio-Susan Walsh/A.P.

The Post helpfully provides a compilation:

Two things were noteworthy in his seven appearances (including two Spanish-language outlets).

First, he made no notable slips, gaffes or errors. You could be sure the punditocracy would have pounced, had he done so. But to get through that many interviews, each by an inquisitor seeking to get him to confess to his right-wing base that he actually had amnesty in mind is no easy feat. He was unflappable and on-message, even as CNN’s Candy Crowley expressed incredulity that he wasn’t already thinking of running for president in 2016.

This suggests a level of focus (and good humor) that will come in handy when and if Rubio really does run for president. The biggest handicap he will face is never having run before, which, as Republicans know, can be a daunting experience for governors and senators unaccustomed to the ferocious glare of the media. Perhaps Rubio has more ice water in his veins than we suspected.

Second, not unlike with gun legislation, the Gang of Eight legislation seems designed to address all good-faith, reasoned objections from the right. Border control? Check. E- verification? Check. No jumping the line ahead of legal immigrants? Check. All that is left is the irrational desire for all of these people to “self-deport” and the unseemly reality that some exclusionists don’t want America to change from their fantasy of America stuck in time, immune from demographic and cultural vicissitudes.

The gun legislation, meanwhile, is likely to be so meaningless as to strip it of all but symbolic moves to address gun violence. A pro-Second Amendment group was heard bragging, “It’s a Christmas tree. We just hung a million ornaments on it. We’re taking the background check and making it a pro-gun bill.” Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) appears to be providing evidence for that assertion as he plucks each ornament out via e-mail to describe what his amendment does FOR gun owners.

The strategy in both cases is to peel off opponents of legislation who have legitimate concerns by answering those concerns from those who will hate any legislation, fearing the ire of their base. The latter seem convinced that gridlock per se is a virtue, rather than a means of stopping bad legislation.

In the meantime, the MSM’s phony story line that Rubio was “on the fence” about immigration reform is gone. If he pulls this off, he’ll secure himself as the leader of his party in the Senate and  the embodiment of a revived GOP. Rubio-Toomey in 2016?

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.