Marco Rubio Should End His Campaign

It is time for Sen. Rubio to face the truth: He will not succeed in his campaign to become President of the United States. He cannot recover from his debate performance last Saturday because his spectacular display of panic under attack from Gov. Christie relates directly to both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness.

On the one hand, Rubio quickly rose to the position of a major contender for the Republican nomination in large part because he was perceived by many in the GOP as The Great Communicator that the party has been long searching for (laboring under the misconception that poor electoral performance at the presidential level over the last two decades was due to wrong messengers rather than the wrong message). That image has now been shattered, and Rubio has nothing else to fall back on.

On the other hand, despite the rise of Trump and Cruz in the polls and a few months of talk about how Rubio was the "real frontrunner", for a long time he was stuck mostly in the low teens in national polls. The Republicans were not rushing to jump on his bandwagon because he was perceived as inexperienced and untested. Rubio's close third place finish in Iowa finally started to allay these fears, but his dramatic moment at the debate strongly reinforced them.

Rubio's brand has been badly damaged, and in a still crowded field that will prove fatal to his campaign. In a different election season some fatally wounded candidate might not do much harm by limping along for a while. But given who the two highest polling candidates are, the more or less sane Republican vote needs to start consolidating soon. Sen. Rubio is in the way, and for the good of his party and his country, he should get out.