Thursday, June 11, 2015

You Don’t Know Jack

Marco Rubio wades into dangerous territory.

Sen. Marco Rubio has slipped a symbolically significant new passage into his stump speech, linking his candidacy to that of another youthful and charismatic 40-something politician: John F. Kennedy.


But it was a new line he began road-testing in Iowa that stood out. Rubio presented the 2016 campaign as a generational pivot point, likening his vision for a “New American Century”—the tagline of his campaign—to Kennedy’s 1960 challenge to the nation to embrace a “New Frontier.”

As Steve Benen reminds us, comparing yourself to JFK is not a good idea.

It’s also a little odd to hear a Cuban-American bring up President Kennedy.  Of all the politicians reviled by the core of the Cuban exile community, JFK is right up there with Fidel because of what they see as his failure to support the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.  So for Mr. Rubio to paint himself as the next iteration of the New Frontier is a tad ironic, if not dangerous.  Just ask Dan Quayle.