Sen. Marco Rubio must be weary of the phrase "I'm not going to be vice president." He's said it enough. The affable Florida Republican has spent months dissuading fans, voters and rabid journalists from speculating on the possibilities. Now Mr. Rubio is down to this stark seven-word phrase to get his point across.
He has repeated it publicly three times in the last week alone, insisting "I'm not going to be vice president" on Wednesday during an appearance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Sunday during a Lincoln Day Dinner and on March 29 when he endorsed Mitt Romney. Mr. Rubio will likely keep repeating his motto until someone else steps up to the plate, or he has a personal revelation and decides to go for it. Conservatives and tea partiers will relish the moment.
The question itself appears to have a long life of its own, however. The global press seized on the idea long ago.
"Republican strategists are already seriously discussing Mr. Rubio as a potential vice presidential candidate for 2012," said the Daily Telegraph of London in a story dated Nov. 3, 2010 — the day after the young senator was elected. Mr. Rubio was soon issuing his first statements of disinterest in the presidential race during press conferences and broadcast appearances.
"It's a circus," he told eager reporters in early 2011. "You guys are part of the circus."
RYAN'S VEEP LEAP
He's already said he'd "consider" it. So naturally, Rep. Paul Ryan is now emerging as a strong entry in the vice presidential derby. A short selection of headlines about the Wisconsin Republicans chances, all from the last 24 hours: "Ryan's rapidly improving vice presidential prospects," (Washington Post); "Paul Ryan: more risk than reward as veep pick?" ABC News; "The Paul Ryan speech that is sparking VP buzz" (Washington Examiner), "Could Romney pick Ryan for VP?" (MSNBC); "Bromance" (CNN).
The aforementioned Mr. Rubio may say "I'm not going to be vice president" until someone sets the phrase to music, or trademarks it for use on collectibles and T-shirts. But he's still the leading choice for the role as Mitt Romney's right-hand man, at least according to the ever-curious oddsmakers at Paddy Power, Ireland's largest online-betting company.
"Paddy Power makes Sen. Marco Rubio the favorite to be the Republican vice presidential candidate at 2/1, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who are considered to be his nearest rivals at odds of 5/1 and 11/2 respectively," explains company spokesman Feilim Mac An Iomaire. The bookmaker is offering odds on 26 others, from Sen. Jim Demint of South Carolina and Donald Trump to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Condoleezza Rice. The three other Republican hopefuls are not picking up the best odds, though. Paddy Power gives Rick Santorum, who is sixth on the list, 20/1. In 19th place, Newt Gingrich earns 40/1, followed by Rep. Ron Paul in 20th place, with 50/1.
"And to you, sir, treacherous in private friendship ... and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor, whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any." Thomas Paine in an open letter to George Washington, dated July 30, 1796.
"Jack Kemp was unique. His combination of intellectual curiosity, inspiration, openness to everyone and persistent advocacy for free market and individual freedom will not be repeated in my lifetime," observes Rep. Daniel E. Lungren, California Republican, in a new essay on the late New York congressman, Cabinet member and football star, published in the Ripon Forum.
"However, a worthy candidate for the mantle of Jack Kemp's legacy in the U.S. Congress is Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican. Paul Ryan, a trained economist, who aspired to practice the 'dismal science' as a professional came under the mentorship of Jack Kemp and was profoundly changed in his career path," Mr. Lungren says, praising the cheerfulness of both men.
"While Jack insisted on the civility of vigorous public discussion, he never shirked the responsibility of leading that discussion. Paul Ryan's respectful but forceful encounter with President Obama during 2010's 'White House Summit' had Jack Kemp's style written all over it. The only thing missing was repeated football references."
LINE OF SCRIMMAGE
"Mitt Romney: It's over. Rick Santorum: It's halftime."
(Parody headline from online news aggregator Fark.com, summarizing the current state of the Republican presidential primary).
POLL DU JOUR
• 42 percent of Republican voters in Wisconsin voted for Mitt Romney; 38 percent voted for Rick Santorum.
• 39 percent of the state's white evangelicals or born-again Christians voted for Mr. Romney; 43 percent voted for Mr. Santorum.
• 43 percent of the state's Protestants voted for Mr. Romney; 40 percent voted for Mr. Santorum.
• 47 percent of the state's Catholics voted for Mr. Romney; 35 percent voted for Mr. Santorum.
• 49 percent of voters in the state who "occasionally" attend church voted for Mr. Romney; 28 percent for Mr. Santorum.
• 40 percent of voters in who attend church weekly voted for Mr. Romney; 45 percent voted for Mr. Santorum.
• 34 percent of Wisconsin voters who say it matters "a great deal" that a candidate shares their religious beliefs voted for Mr. Romney; 49 percent voted for Mr. Santorum.
Source: A Pew Research Center Forum on Religion & Public Life analysis of Wisconsin exit polls released by the National Election Pool and CNN.
• Odds, speculations, revelations to email@example.com
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