It’s easy to tell when a potential Republican Presidential candidate is feared by the media sound machine. They begin to define this person negatively whenever he tries to make his first impression on the public. Unfortunately, for Marco Rubio, this time he is one of the prime targets on the bull’s eye. On the other hand, luckily for Bobby Jindal, these same people have decided that he is easy pickings, so they’re building him up.
From the left’s point of view, I’d guess that the three most problematic candidates for the GOP to nominate for President in 2016 are Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie. For the latter two, it’s not that hard to caricature them. But what do you do with Rubio? He’s a young, attractive, Hispanic from Florida. He’s reliably conservative without being mean-spirited about it. So it’s important that people who are tired of politics after perhaps the goofiest, most-negative election campaign since World War II, be subtly advised that he is ‘different’ from them.
So, when Rubio agreed to be interviewed by GQ, he had to expect some questions that would try to drive a wedge between himself and potential supporters who have little knowledge of him. The interviewer asked a really important question to the Florida Senator: ‘How old is the earth?’ Rubio in his response was reticent to demean the views of fundamentalists, who believe that the age of the earth is calculable from the Bible. He answered,
“I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says; I can tell you what the Bible says; but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians, and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States…I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.”
So what the media will try to convince us for the next 3 or 4 years is that Rubio is a Know Nothing, eagerly awaiting the onset of the 20th century. Once he is defined like this, it will be very difficult for him to change his image.
On the other hand, look at the media attention given to Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana. Every utterance he makes is treated as if it comes from Olympus. Since the election, he has been uttered a number of statements deriding the Romney campaign which has led to the adulation of the media. Bobby, who spent the last six months campaigning for Mitt, telling the rest of us how Romney was the reincarnation of Reagan, how he was the embodiment of the new breed of severe conservative, has spent most waking hours since Election Day detailing each of Romney’s flaws.
So now we know that Jindal is one of the candidates that the media spin will ‘endorse’, at least until he wins the nomination. Then, the gloves will come off.