Marco Rubio: Fresh face, maybe. Stale positions, definitely.
It's Republican image-crafting circa 2015
: Each GOP presidential candidate is trying to define himself against Hillary Clinton rather than against his primary opponents. That means you have to pay attention to the way
each is trying to define himself against Clinton, because that's how the Republicans want to be known.
Rubio — who at 43 is young enough to be Clinton’s son — called the 67-year-old Democrat “a leader from yesterday . . . promising to take us back to yesterday.” He talks casually about his affinity for football and rap music (he counts the rapper Pitbull as a friend), signaling to young people that he is not their father’s country-club Republican.
Rubio is counting on pop culture references and his fresh face to make voters ignore that on policy, he's the candidate of yesterday
—opposed to marriage equality, wanting to stick with a failed Cuba policy, and opposed to action against climate change.
Walker (R-Wis.) is emphasizing his Midwestern, devoutly Christian upbringing and relatable suburban lifestyle. He often mentions his coupon-aided purchases at Kohl’s and Jos. A. Bank and his hobby of riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles. On the stump, Walker, 47, derides Clinton as a fixture of the East Coast political elite. “I doubt the presumptive nominee for the other party has ever been to Kohl’s,” Walker joked this month.
Ah, yes, Scott Walker, the relatable middle-class guy who's made his career by sucking up to billionaires. Also, Kohl's Kohl's Kohl's.
There are other contrasts, too. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is making ideological overtures, portraying Clinton as a paragon of liberal orthodoxy dating to Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and pledging to scale back social programs and eviscerate the federal bureaucracy.
Great. Run against Hillary Clinton because she's in favor of Medicare. That'll really bring in the senior voters.
At some point you have to imagine these guys will be forced to admit that they're running against each other, and start explaining how they're different from each other rather than how they are different from Hillary Clinton in their own unique ways. I mean ... right?