How did Florida U. S. Sen. Marco Rubio seize the leadership of the Republican Party from Paul Ryan, the Minnesota congressman who ran for vice-president with Mitt Romney?
By leading the trend to the party's nose-holding surrender on the immigration issue, argues New York Magazine. Writer Jonathan Chait says Rubio has tapped into a new GOP school of thought, which is that Republicans have no other problems except for immigration.
Rubio seems to have grasped in particular the emotional barriers involved. Republicans not only distrust immigration reform as public policy, they distrust Obama personally and can’t stand the idea of cooperating with him. Rubio has managed to get conservatives to think of cooperating with Obama on immigration reform as a kind of triumph over Obama. Never mind that Obama has favored comprehensive reform all along, and Rubio opposed it until the last few weeks. The new partisan narrative presents Obama as a foe of immigration reform and Rubio as its long-standing champion. Thus, the passage of an immigration-reform bill would represent Rubio’s partisan triumph over Obama.
To stay current on all things Rubio, you may also want to read the Time magazine cover story on the Florida Senator, the one titled "The Republican Savior," and this ThinkProgress piece, "Eight Reasons Why Marco Rubio is Not the Republican Savior."