Rubio Seizes the Moment on Immigration

Monday, 15 Apr 2013 09:47 AM

By Jon Friedman

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio continued his media onslaught over the weekend, hitting a slew of the Sunday morning talk shows. He was officially talking about the immigration legislation but few believe that this is his only agenda. 
 
The consensus of the media seems to be that Rubio, a promising Republican face at a time when the Grand Old Party sorely needs an infusion of charisma, will pursue a presidential nomination in 2016. 
 
Rubio denies the chatter but he sure walks and talks like a presidential candidate, don't you think?
 
He has the game under control. Rubio is seldom caught off guard on television. When CNN's Candy Crowley pointedly asked Rubio that exact question on Sunday morning, he demurred and moved the discussion back to square one, immigration. 
 
But he wasn't terribly convincing that he has no ulterior motive to appear on the tube at such a strategic and opportune time for both himself and his political party. 
 
It was as if Rubio wanted to get back to business, even though we all knew what he had in mind.
 
Say this for Rubio. He is shrewd. He is seizing the moment. He can talk earnestly about immigration questions while everyone leans in to see if he will talk candidly about his presidential aspirations. We will have to keep watching to get the word, it seems.
 
There is no blueprint for achieving success on television. If you appear too often, the public may begin to take you for granted and get sick of you pretty quickly. Once that happens, you're in trouble because the voters will surely latch on to a new TV face by then.
 
But it is essential, too, for a prospective candidate to take control of television news shows and gain traction and momentum quickly. It helps Rubio to have a durable news issue — immigration reform — because he will always have a solid reason to come on the news shows.
 
On Sunday, Rubio was as conspicuous on television as a re-run of "Seinfeld" or "I Love Lucy." Today, he is talking about immigration. But perhaps down the road, he will start dropping hints about 2016.
 
It will be fascinating to monitor Rubio's progress as we inevitably trudge toward 2016. Yes, the next election is three full years away, but that does not matter much anymore.
 
Rubio's game plan has been carefully charted. He made a splash at the Republican Nation Convention last summer, putting himself on the map with American conservatives as a telegenic, articulate, likable politician. 
 
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution. Click here to order a copy. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
 
 
 
 
 

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