The Washington Post

Whit Ayres: Marco Rubio is the ‘RGIII of American politics’

Back in December, Republican strategist and Post contributor Ed Rogers wondered whether there was some inspiration to be gleaned from the Redskins’ talented young rookie quarterback.

“Before RGIII’s arrival on the Redskins’ roster for the 2012 season, the Redskins were a fragmented, loosely organized team with some skilled players, a great history and a desperate need to win,” Rogers wrote. “They floundered until they were galvanized by a great talent.

“I’m a discouraged, disgruntled Redskins fan who is starting to believe. RGIII is making me believe that the Skins can emerge from their long stay in the wilderness. And since just about everything makes me think of politics, I’ve begun to wonder, who will be the GOP’s RGIII? Who will be the leader who takes the Republicans’ talent and solid foundation and coalesces the party into a winning, dominant force?”

Well, the answer is here:

“Marco Rubio, the RGIII of American politics,” is how Republican pollster Whit Ayres described the Florida senator yesterday at a panel on immigration.

And the comparison is kind of perfect. Think about it: The freshman senator was dubbed “The Republican Savior” by Time magazine. RGIII was dubbed “Washington D.C.’s NFL Savior” by Time Magazine! Chris Cillizza called Rubio “the single most marketable product in the Republican party today.” RGIII’s likeness appears on roughly 49 percent of all commercial goods in the United States! Both are seen as gifted communicators, transcendent figures. Both were put in vulnerable positions by their leaders during high-profile moments.

It all makes a whole lot of sense, until you realize that there’s already an RGIII of American politics: Robert Griffin III, obviously a future politician. Could Marco Rubio get Texans to cheer for the Redskins? Don’t think so.

(Also, guess who Rubio named when asked who he thought was the best leader in D.C.)

See the 1:10 mark for Ayres’s comment:



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Lindsay Applebaum · March 15, 2013