In a comment The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza is calling “the single best argument against Hillary Clinton,” Sen. Marco Rubio Tuesday called the former secretary of state “a 20th century candidate” who “does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now.”
This isn’t just the best argument against Hillary Clinton, but it might be the best argument for Marco Rubio. (RELATED: Marco Rubio Dismisses Hillary Clinton As A ’20th Century Candidate’)
The contrasts — should these two candidates face each other in 2016 — are obvious. It’s actually something I’ve been talking about for years (most recently, here) in regards to a “bridge to the past, versus a bridge to the future”:
As Cillizza notes, Rubio’s line works on two levels. One, it subtly reminds people of Hillary’s age. But more importantly, it reminds people that Hillary is tied to a lot of baggage going all the way back to the Nixon impeachment — never mind all the scandals from her husband’s administration.
In regards to the former, Hillary’s best move is to demonstrate that she is healthy and virile by running an aggressive campaign that takes nothing for granted.
Regarding the latter, I would suggest Hillary own the 1990s. Rather than trying to run from something she’s inexorably tied to, she should embrace a decade of mostly peace and prosperity.
It turns out that, given enough time, we tend to become nostalgic about even things that are pretty terrible. I just read an article about a pickpocket lamenting the decline of his “profession” in New York: ”‘We’re disappearing,’ he said wistfully … ‘In a few years, there won’t be any of us left.’”
Compared to the state of the world today, maybe voters will conclude the 1990s weren’t so bad, either?
… But back to my main point: While Rick Perry and Rand Paul are squabbling among themselves, Marco Rubio is demonstrating why he might just be the best Republican to nominate if winning is what matters to voters come November of 2016.
If parties out of power become desperate for a winner — if they care about winning the argument and the election — then Rubio is laying the groundwork to be the man they turn to.
Elections are choices, so if Hillary is to be the Democratic nominee, it stands to reason that Republicans would want to nominate someone who would, by virtue of their very existence, serve as a contrast. Rubio, who is young and charismatic and still fresh, certainly fits the bill.