Conservative Republicans had three obstacles to overcome in 2012: Barack Obama and the Democratic Machine, the mainstream media, and the Republican Establishment. The establishment has selected the candidate they felt was best for the party and forced him down conservatives’ throats since 1964. The exception was the ascension of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Marco Rubio is out to head them off the Republican Establishment at the pass. He’s going to Iowa.
Now there is little doubt that the Republican Establishment likes Rubio, but he didn’t start out as one of them; he was a Tea Party favorite first. And he knows well how important Iowa can be; it launched Barack Obama, and when Rick Santorum canvassed the state and showed Iowans he was willing to invest plenty of time there, he wound up winning the state in the primary.
The Florida senator plans to attend the annual campaign fundraising birthday party for Iowa governor Terry Branstad. In 2011, all the candidates running at the time except Mitt Romney showed up. Branstad’s spokesman, Tim Albrecht, was excited:
“Sen. Rubio is a star within our party.We were excited Sen. Rubio accepted, and regardless of what happened on Tuesday he was going to come, and it guarantees a successful fundraiser.”
Rubio has planted seeds for the early primaries of 2016 campaign already; he was featured at the South Carolina GOP’s Silver Elephant Dinner in May and also stumped for Mitt Romney in most of the states that have primaries early in the primary season. He missed Iowa in July because his plane had to make an emergency stop en route, but he’s making amends for that now.