Marco Rubio spent much of the past year denying his ambitions to attain higher office. He would shoot down reporters every time they questioned his desire to join the 2012 Republican ticket as vice president, claiming his intent was solely to learn the ins and outs of the Senate. "I don't want to be the vice president right now, or maybe ever. I really want to do a good job in the Senate," he said in an interview last month.
But now that the veepstakes has kicked, off Rubio's adopted a far different tone. From a speech in D.C. yesterday:
Too often times in the United States Senate especially, most of the votes we take are nothing but messaging points," Rubio said in a speech at the Latino Coalition's Annual Economic Summit in Washington. "Bills are brought to the floor, that people know are not going to pass, for one purpose alone, and that's to give people talking points on the Sunday evening shows.
"Our people deserve better. It's not like we don't have major issues to confront, but they are not being confronted. The only thing that's being done in the Senate these days is creating material for television commercials in the fall, and it's sad."
It's easy to see how Rubio is positioning himself to ignore his past protestations and justify accepting the number two slot should Romney offer it. "I came to Washington to join the greatest deliberative body in the world only to enter a chamber that had lapsed into partisan discord thanks to the extremist policies of the Obama administration," future Rubio will say. "Therefore I gladly accept Governor Romney's invitation to run as his vice presidential candidate to restore some sanity and reasonable compromise to our political system." It is an easily rhetorical shift, sure to be praised by the class of campaign political journalists that readily accept rote disdain for the political process.