Monday, November 9, 2009

A Club for Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio picked up the endorsement of the conservative Club for Growth in his primary challenge for the Florida Senate seat against Gov. Charlie Crist.

Club president Chris Chocola praised Rubio as “one of the brightest young stars in American politics” and a “proven champion of economic liberty.” Chocola also skewered Crist for repeatedly taking the side of “big government liberals on major economic issues facing America today.”

The Club’s endorsement of Rubio had been rumored for months but momentum for it picked up after the former state legislator managed to raise more than $1 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 — proving viability against the incredibly well-funded Crist.

What will the Club’s endorsement mean for Rubio? First and foremost, money. The Club has shown considerable capacity to bundle — collecting a series of donations from their donors and then directing them to a candidate — hundreds of thousands of dollars to those they endorse.

While that might seem like a good thing for Mr. Rubio and a challenge to Gov. Crist, the Club for Growth’s track record in endorsing candidates to get them to the general election is usually a kiss of death. They have, as Jonathan Singer points out, a good record for electing Democrats by backing unelectable Republicans: Bill Sali of Idaho, Tim Walberg of Michigan, Andy Harris of Maryland, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, and Conservative Doug Hoffman in last week’s NY 23rd district’s special election.

So if the Club wants to see Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek move up to the Senate next year, they are doing exactly what they need to be doing.

Knock yourself out.