The Road For Marco Rubio Won't Be Easy

With a youthfulness few other presidential contenders can match, Marco Rubio launched his bid for the White House on Monday by positioning himself as a fresh voice for a new American chapter, contrasting himself with Hillary Rodham Clinton and even his one-time mentor Jeb Bush.

But as much as Rubio sought to distinguish himself from past leaders, it is those two names — Clinton and Bush — that will ultimately help determine how serious of a contender the 43-year-old Floridian can be.

With much of Florida’s GOP donor base already loyal to Bush, Rubio has to show quickly that he can personify the qualities that an anti-Bush, anti-establishment base in the party is seeking. Already he brings comparative youth, roots in the largest swing state in presidential politics, widely recognized oratory skills and a grasp of foreign policy the belies his age.

While Bush is well ahead of Rubio in most public polling, Rubio has something Bush lacks, said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who worked on the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign. Rubio can appeal to more of the GOP’s various factions.

Read more from Jeremy Wallace at the Herald-Tribune

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Analysis & Political Strategy