Live from the Roasterie: Brian Buetler: Marco Rubio isn't the Obama of the GOP. He's the John Edwards: "To accept the Rubio-as-Obama line, you must ignore the vastly different strategic niches the two men occupy...

...In proper context, the Republican Party’s answer to Obama isn’t Rubio. It’s Trump. Obama’s charisma was key to his appeal in 2008, but so too was the fact that he... reflected his party’s base better than Hillary Clinton.... The GOP’s Obama will be charismatic, yes--but old and white and nativist instead of young and ethnic and cosmopolitan. That’s Trump.... Republicans don't necessarily need an Obama of their own, though. They could also nominate someone with the skill and desire to reform the party in a way that makes it appealing outside the population of white conservatives. The big question for Rubio isn't whether he's an Obama clone, but whether he can do for Republicans what Bill Clinton did for Democrats....

Rubio is... making the most shallow appeal of any Republican in the field... that his youth and background will allow him to herald an orthodox Republican policy agenda as somehow distinct and visionary.... Rubio enjoys the support of only 23 percent of Hispanic voters, lower than the paltry share that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. In this way, Rubio resembles the Republican Party’s answer to John Edwards rather than a genuine reformer.... The GOP debate... [is over] the question of whether Republicans should be searching for their Obama or their Clinton.... Trump is their Obama.... Rubio is neither their Obama nor their Clinton. And Jeb Bush makes an even worse fit for either role.


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