Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. gestures while speaking during a luncheon program at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Lest there be any doubt Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is training for his presidential run (it’s a marathon, not a sprint), he teased a preview this week of a Rubio v. Clinton match-up.

And like the arguments of so many whippersnappers before him, it’s the future versus the past. Or put another way, the young versus the old.

Late Tuesday, Rubio’s leadership PAC fundraised off an interview the senator gave on NPR where he said of Hillary Clinton, “I just think she’s a 20th century candidate.”

At the end of the e-mail was a P.S.: “Clinton’s ideas are from the days of the Macarena, Prodigy Internet, and the Y2K scare.”

(Ah the ’90s. Reminds us of when Madeleine Albright taught the minister of Botswana the dance on the floor of the United Nations.)

So, if Clinton runs, the Rubio campaign’s attack strategy will be like watching reruns of VH1’s “I Love the 90s,” reminding us of grunge fashion and Dave Matthews? Could make some nostalgic. (Colleague Chris Cillizza over at The Fix thinks the “leave the past in the past” argument has legs.) Most of Clinton’s would-be challengers are in their 40s, so they should pay attention to how Rubio’s attack lands.

While Rubio doesn’t – and won’t – outright mention Clinton’s age (she’ll be 69 on Election Day 2016), the implication is loud and clear. We caution Rubio and the other younger pols to be careful or they could fall into the same trap Walter Mondale did when he ran against a much older President Ronald Reagan.

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Marco Rubio


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