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Intro: "Since my New Year's prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I've been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

GOP Ticket 2012: Romney-Rubio

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

03 January 12


ince my New Year's prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I've been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes.

You can forget the caucuses and early primaries. Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Republicans may be stupid but the GOP isn't about to commit suicide. The other candidates are all weighed down by enough baggage to keep a 747 on the tarmac indefinitely.

For his running mate, Romney will choose Marco Rubio, the junior senator from Florida. Why do I say this?

First, Romney will need a right-winger to calm and woo the Republican right. Tea Partiers are attracted to Rubio - an evangelical Christian committed to reducing taxes and shrinking government. Rubio's meteoric rise in the Florida House before coming to Congress was based on a string of conservative stances on state issues.

Rubio is also a proven campaigner, handily winning four House elections starting in 2002, and then beating popular incumbent Republican governor Charlie Crist in the 2010 Republican primary - with the help of Tea Partiers.

Moreover, he's only 40, thereby giving the GOP ticket some youthful vigor.

And he's Hispanic - a Cuban-American - at a time when the GOP needs to court the Hispanic vote.

Rubio's only baggage is the "son of exiles" controversy - his suggestion that his parents were refugees forced out of Cuba by Castro when in fact they moved to the United States before the Cuban revolution.

But this isn't the sort of slip that would keep him off the ticket. In fact, Romney has defended Rubio, saying "I think the world of Marco Rubio, support him entirely and think that the effort to try to smear him was unfortunate and bogus."

Finally, and most critically, Florida is a crucial swing state. Rubio would help deliver it.

So it will be Obama-Clinton versus Romney-Rubio.

And what's my prediction for Election Day? Obama-Clinton hands down.

I warn you, though. Political predictions, economic forecasts, and astrology differ in only one respect. Astrology has a fairly good record of being correct.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on and iTunes. your social media marketing partner


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+16 # jlohman 2012-01-03 10:49
This is such a shame. Had he been a president "for the people" he would not have needed to raise a penny to be re-elected and would have gone down in history as the best president ever. Instead he appointed industry people and ruled to the right, moving both out of sight. Too bad. It may now take Romney to bring us back to the center.
+8 # intelvoter 2012-01-03 11:19
Obama has done a fantastic job. Look what he has accomplished dispite congress trying to block every move to help the country. Where congress couldn't stop him, he got rid of Bin Laden, the master mind of 9-11 and the cause of why we went to war . It's true that Obama had to accept some crap in the bills, but the main thrust was good and can be adjusted if we can get a better congress elected in 2012.
+20 # noitall 2012-01-03 12:08
Nobody was able to 'block' his signing of the NDAA, probably his worst act, and even if he had done everything else right (and he hasn't by a far shot), a reason to send him down the path of one-termers. He'll approve the XL Pipeline in spite of engineer concerns for safety, and other experts concerns that are broadly against this time bomb. I'm voting for Rocky. Support the Justice Party. When both parties are against the majority, to continue to vote for either of them makes no sense. FEAR is their only tactic and most American's only excuse to continue to act like lemmings.
+4 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:15
sorry...but we need want to see the police state enforced? let the ultra right control the senate, the house and the white house. who do you think will stand up to that dynamic? the sticks and stones half pacifist left?
+16 # noitall 2012-01-03 17:06
Who do YOU think will "stand up"? The same one that put in the key tool for the fascists? So you DO recognize that Obama's signing of the NDAA set us up for a police state but you're asking who, other than Obama, will stand up to the dynamic that HE set up?! I'm sorry, I don't follow your logic.
+3 # 2012-01-03 22:16
NOTITALL, your logic is true! I don't follow the logic of people who take their constitutional rights so lightly as to actually say..,"sorry, we need him"
What do we need Obama for? To chip away at more constitutional rights? To golf while so many people who trusted him to change their lives for the better are unemployed and worse off than they were before he came into office? To spin more rhetoric? To blame the Republicans and congress for his failure as POTUS?
+2 # 2012-01-03 22:04
uglysexy: Are you not aware that the police state is a gift to the Americans by Obama. Have you read the law he signed on New Years day eve when he was certain it wouldn't be noticed because the people were partying? Are you aware of the repercussions of this law?
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-01-06 09:11
i will only vote for rocky if he goes with bullwinkle or natasha for vp
+8 # RMDC 2012-01-03 15:18
surely you are joking. Bin Laden was always irrelevant. Obama has drastically expanded the war in Afghanistan. He surged there and moved the bombing into Pakistan.

Obama has been a failure on all fronts. Even his healthcare bill was the worst that could be, written mostly by health insurance lobbiests. He could have stood strong for a public option (i.e., medicare) but he gave that up without any fight. He had majorities in the house and senate then and could have passed it in spite of republican (he'd have had to get the senate to abandon its 60 vote rule but he could have done that easily).

As Jlohman says, Obama will go down in history as the 3nd worst president every. He'll come in right behind GW Bush and R. Reagan.
+5 # noitall 2012-01-03 17:10
You're right RMDC, AND 'single payer' wasn't mentioned after he was elected (but talked about as being the goal during the campaign). This @#$%er is scary because of his big brain. The ONLY promise that he kept to was his efforts to bi-partisanship ; his excuse for his failures.
+2 # 2012-01-03 22:37
Hugh Five: Notitall!
+2 # 2012-01-03 22:36
This is brilliant, RMDC. If only the blindsighted "Obama Apologists" will read it and comprehend what you are saying. I especially like your take on Obamacare:... "his healthcare bill was the worst that could be written mostly by health insurance lobbiests"..I'm in HC and this is totally on the mark. Every single point you make is relevant. In my opinion, he will go down as the worst POTUS because he put every American in harm's way when he signed the NDAA bill into law assuming most would not understand how much he betrayed us . According to this Post he may have been right.
+3 # wghare13 2012-01-04 01:10
No one has brought up the fact that the Supreme Court is now out of control.A 5/4 court (5 FAR right of center justices - (Citizens United for example) controls the agenda and votes the Corporate/Repub lican line " corporations are people"
Obama has appointed a reasonable jurist -proof he will do so again. So all other issues aside THIS is the main reason I support Obama. The NEXT Jurist appointment will make the Court 5/4 IF and only IF Obama makes the appointment. I rest my case
+3 # Joan Manning 2012-01-04 10:22
wghare13, I'm afraid you're right. If we lose the Congress, the presidency AND the Supreme Court, we're finished as a democracy.
0 # dkonstruction 2012-01-06 09:20
A fantastic job? Look, it's one thing to say that we will hold our nose and vote for the guy again because the thought of relio-fanatical crypto fascist moron as president is truly a frightening prospect but to simply ignore actions such as our participation in the illegal military coup in Hondorus, Signing the NDAA which in many ways ended US "democracy" (such as it was) by giving the US military the power to detain any of us forever without charge, trial or conviction (after "promising" he would veto it) is to dilude oneself as to who this guy really is. Not to mention that I think it is at best i think naive to believe that we "went to war" (now a permanent state) and have been at it for 10 years and spent trillions of dollars to go after one guy...and if we absurd is that?
+36 # Larry 2012-01-03 11:20
As I listened to Obama speak during the campaign, his positions seemed centrist, if not slightly to the right of center; but by no means radically liberal. That made the relentless shrieks of "socialist" from the wingnuts seem even more bizarre than usual.

Then, of course, he veered even further to the right, culminating with the shameful defense spending bill that effectively makes America a police state.

How could this have happened?
+60 # Doctoretty 2012-01-03 11:20
What center? Anti-choice, anti-middle class, pro-1%ers...tha t's NOT the center!
Obama may not be perfect, but Romney is a con man!
-15 # jlohman 2012-01-03 12:01
Let us hope that the center can galvanize around a strong progressive or Green running as an independent. Obama is not just "non perfect," he is disastrous.
+6 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:12
pipe dreams...don't be a nader
+1 # Erdajean 2012-01-04 00:55
What's the "red-button" kick on this comment? It's right on and in keeping with plenty of what others say. The pro-bama clcker is at it again --
And for the rocord, yes we DO need a "strong progressive" or a Green as a third-party choice. ENOUGH of this "Oh well, we gotta vote for CRAP" business! As bad as the choices are shaping up to be, the people DESERVE a candidate who is not a Fascist! We might even elect such a person -- I hope!
+2 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:13
this won't make it past the censors but if you morph photos of dubyah and get a bushney that looks just like ted bundy
+36 # Doctoretty 2012-01-03 11:21
This seems the likely ticket. Must be defeated or it will be very bad for the country.
+20 # pbbrodie 2012-01-03 11:40
I think you meant to say very worse for the country. It's already really bad.
+16 # jmcauliff 2012-01-03 11:52
I think that your prediction is sound and that a Clinton-Biden switch would excite Democrats and independents.

Obama can contrast his policy of unrestricted travel and remittances for Cuban Americans with Rubio's unabashed allegiance to the hard line anti-Cuba exile agenda.

He would gain even more support in Florida and nationwide if he took steps now to further expand travel opportunities for the rest of us.

Additional analysis here

(FYI Rubio was a state legislator, not a US Representative. He is also a practicing Catholic.)

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
+11 # abbyshahn 2012-01-03 12:13
I like saying MITT & NEWT
or more like mitt n' newt
It sounds as idiotic as the two of them do.
+17 # CL38 2012-01-03 12:20
Am enthusiastic about the idea of an Obama - Clinton run. Found Mr. Reich's two sentence comment at the end, very humorous: "Political predictions, economic forecasts, and astrology differ in only one respect. Astrology has a fairly good record of being correct."
+10 # SouthBrun 2012-01-03 12:27
Romney-Rubio, equals R2-D2. The D2 part stands for Dumb 2..
Not even close with a Clinton-Biden switch
+18 # humanmancalvin 2012-01-03 12:27
Obama-Biden...O bama-Clinton... Obama-Howdy Doody..All/any would be far superior than any of the GOP crazies. Panderers and subject to adopting ANY position to court the Republican vote. Would you want President Gingrich answering the red phone at 3 AM? Good grief. Perry and Bachman would institute religious doctrine into every situation. Tata separation of church and state. Romney, well enough said.
-59 # Robt Eagle 2012-01-03 12:38
Unbelievable, Reich's prediction may come true, but who in their right mind would vote for Obama who has driven this country through the ditch and into the swamp? Obama had nothing what-so-ever to do with getting Bin was the CIA and Navy SEALs. Giving Obama credit for that is sheer lunacy. Give the military top brass: Mullen, Patreus, and Odierno credit before you give anything to Obama who already received his false Nobel Prize. Obama's spending, business stifling, and health policies are so corrosive to spuring this economy we are on the razor sharp verge of full out inflation and then depression. The only hope for our American salvation is a fiscal conservative President, Senate and House that understands the desparate situation we are in. Entitlements MUST cease, slowly so as to keep those dependent on it still functioning. Get rid of over a slow slope ALL Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Eliminate welfare and unemployment insurance. The population needs to be responsible for their actions and/or inactions like America was as it was emerging and prospering. Go ahead and tax those making over a $1M a year an extra won't do anything but make the slackers in our society feel all warm and fuzzy taking from the rich. Throw in jail Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie, the heads of S&P and Moody's, and the Federal regulators of the SEC and FINRA. They got paid and failed to do their jobs!
+8 # kitster 2012-01-03 13:24
"grover...grove r nonsense? is that you? you sent your jokes to reader supported news...not the rush limbaugh comedy hour.

"what's that? you thought .com meant comedy?

"no, sorry, we take our political pronouncements seriously over here."
+18 # maddave 2012-01-03 16:17
Would someone help Mr, Eagle find his meds, please?
-16 # 2012-01-03 22:42
Mr.Eagle is right on. Re-read his post. maddave
0 # lin96 2012-01-04 04:29
Sorry he can't afford them as the pharmaceutical companies want gold instead of paper money for them.
+12 # jcdav 2012-01-03 18:06
SS is about the only program that has is not a pension plan, only intended to keep old folks from starving. If you want more plan accordingly. the world you describe is the 1890-1920 world in USA...sorta like a bananna republic..very little upward mobility (lack of opportunity for most folks)-- lots of heriditary baronages... I think history would show that far more innovation, growth, and wealth were generated after 1930 & the standard of living was very much improved. From Regan on we have been backsliding to the dark ages--and now are approaching feudalism.
+12 # humanmancalvin 2012-01-03 20:05
Robt Eagle...Back away from the Fox Non-News channel. You are subject to sound bites delivered by snake oil salespeople. People like you frighten me for the sake of sane discourse (not to mention truth). But this is America and you have every right to spout your uninformed and uneducated views.
+8 # Billy Bob 2012-01-03 21:18
"... but who in their right mind would vote for Obama..."

anyone who read the rest of your comment and realizes that you pretty much speak for the rest of the repuglican party.

Most people want to keep their Social Security. Who in their right mind would want to destroy the social safety net?
-17 # 2012-01-03 22:41
Why all the minus's? Robert Eagle is right about everything!
+3 # Joan Manning 2012-01-04 11:13
Even an eagle has to land once in a while. I suggest, Mr. Eagle, that you study life on the ground where most of us live. Before you start stealing the means of sustenance from "the slackers in our society" I suggest you examine the reasons why the poor have become poor.

I lived through the Democratic era from Roosevelt to Johnson when jobs were plentiful and a middle class life was affordable. Then the Republicans took over and we had the drug war, deregulation,un ion busting, tax cuts for the rich, tuition for state colleges, stagnant wages, and eventually people began living off the inflated value of their homes. The Republicans effectively kicked our future out from under us.

So, Mr. Eagle, come down from your superior perch and tell us why we should vote Republican?
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-01-04 15:25
Beautifully worded. Thank you Joan. Your polite response perfectly exposes "the eagle's" rhetoric for what it is, self-aggrandize ment.
+15 # Pancho 2012-01-03 13:01
Rubio has been a "subject of investigation" in the for-profit Blackwater River prison scam in Florida.

I'm sure Romney can figure this out better than Reich has. After all, Mitt's seen what baggage Dan Quale, Dick Chaney and Sarah Palin contributed as the preceding picks for the "R" ticket.
+25 # fredboy 2012-01-03 13:05
We in Florida know Rubio to be a fake.

He claimed his family fled Castro's Cuba. It finally came out that they came to the US years before Castro led the revolution. Then they tried to go back, didn't like it, and returned to the US. Thus, this guy is ideal GOP material--when the truth doesn't serve him, he makes it up. Pretty low when you have to lie about your own family to get ahead.

Rubio, if chosen, will be the GOP's Achilles heel.
+16 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:06
We're headed to Banana Republic status with disappearances and the whole nine yards. Horrible Horrible Indescent Descent into the Right Wing Abyss. I disagree with anyone not voting for Obama in 2012. To allow the Right to control the Senate, Congress and White House is unacceptable. If You want to put on your tin foil hats just for the sake of Protest...You will lose. Don't forget...the Right has all the Weapons and the left is 50% Pacifist. To not hold the White House is Unacceptable.
+16 # Shebaml 2012-01-03 13:11
The United States has always been a centrist country and we tend to elect centrist candidates.
Neither Obama not Clinton were far left in 2008, but both are certainly more in line with mainstream thinking than what the GOP is offering.
Am I thrilled with all stances Obama has taken? Hell, no. But we're not being offered a better choice and as has been our history, a third party candidate is unlikely to win, but could throw the election to the worst of the mainstream candidates.
A second Obama term, without the pressure of worrying about a re-election could give him the backbone he has lacked in his first term. What's more, putting in a neophyte gives us a learning curve this country can't afford to endure at such a critical economic juncture.
+2 # jcdav 2012-01-03 18:20
ah, the jellyfish grows a cuttlebone and -presto a squid! Don't tell me show me. The NDAA sellout was, regrettably, entirely in character. there was no gun to his head (now there is one to ours) to sign OR he could have used a signing statement ala W to negate the bad parts...but wait he was a constitutional scholar..he could not do that! But wait again he can err DID sign something that clearly violates at least two ammendments ot the Constitution! So whadda ya make of that? Lookin at Rocky, Bernie and a real progressive..ha te a third party but the pukes in both existing parties top to bottom are largely on the take and not serving anyone but themselves & their owners.
-7 # 2012-01-03 22:47
The NDAA was a sellout! JCDAV is right: What is difficult to comprehand about this post and Robert Eagle's?
+6 # uglysexy 2012-01-03 13:11
Mitt'n'Newton.. .will say it discovered Gravity. But I love that Michelle Bachmann said Ron Paul would be worse than Obama...lolz
+24 # lin96 2012-01-03 13:16
I don't see Hillary stepping in to a Vice Presidential slot. Biden's wife Jill said she didn't want him to have the Secretary of State position and be gone all the time.
There isn't a Democrat who will run who isn't center right. They're really moderate Republicans. There hasn't been a liberal in the White House was FDR and he did the most for this country.
+12 # Jane Gilgun 2012-01-03 14:30
The GOP is a gutter party, a disgrace to common decency. If Obama does not win, then the power of lies, distortions, and cover-ups has prevailed. Obama may have been slow to understand how selfish and despotic the GOP is right now, but he's the best we've got.
-7 # PeterAttwood 2012-01-03 17:06
Obama is heartily in favor of dumping the Constitution and building a police state, and he's been thrilled from the beginning with giving it all to Geithner and the rest of his rich friends. He's a smiling psychopath, able to get a whole lot of suckers to make excuses for him that wouldn't tolerate any of it from a Republican for a NY minute.
-7 # 2012-01-03 22:50
Peter Attwood: you should be publishing your posts. You read, you reflect and you analyze. High Five!
0 # lin96 2012-01-04 04:32
We can't be absolutely sure that Obama won't have a challenger in the 2012 primary.
+10 # lamancha 2012-01-03 17:11
Gutter party is too kind a word. It's almost a given that Romney will select Rubio for reasons that Mr. Reich cited. From his experience as leader of the Florida House, Rubio was a pure demagogue with his incendiary, bombastic speech filled with right wing rhetoric. This guy is to the right of Attila the Hun. He epitomizes the utter dementia of the Republicans.
+8 # tinkertoodle 2012-01-03 17:18
Rubio would be a diaster he is a teapotter on steroids who believes social security is a hand out! He's so stupid he doesn't know people have paid into the system all their working lives.He wants to get rid of any program to help people in any way unless you make 7 figures.
-2 # wrodwell 2012-01-04 01:18
Just what the country needs: a little R & R. Romney and Rubio aka Robbery and Ruin.
Vote Republican!
-2 # lin96 2012-01-04 04:26
Since it was revealed that Marco Rubio lied about his background to get elected in the first place, how could you trust him not to lie about anything else? John Thune has also expressed interest in being a running mate for Romney and he is a tea partier too. I'm sure he'll put some kind of a tea partier on his ticket.

Romney was hired by Baine (the company he brags that he did so well at) to go in, cut it up, eliminate jobs so those at the top could get rich. There's a good ad with a man from that company who is a testimonial to what he actually did. I hope he travels all around the country revealing that he believes "corporations are people". Of course, he said that in Iowa at a town meeting, and managed to squeeze by. I don't think Montana will be voting for him because they challenged and overturned that issue of "corporations are people" in their state judicial system. It will most likely be appealed by the Republican pack (I think it's something like Citizens United...what a joke) and sent right back to the Supreme Court to rule on again. I wish other states would do that. It's the only way you could get the Supreme Court to change their ruling.
+4 # lin96 2012-01-04 04:45
Both parties are controlled by the financiers who are really running the country. We're actually voting for the better of two evils. One IS the abyss, the other is heading there. The OWS is doing what is absolutely necessary to show what the people want. They are being educated by some very intelligent people and they are organized, contrary to what the media wants you to believe. If you want your civil rights you have to support OWS who are fighting for them.
-3 # Headzzzup 2012-01-06 16:48
Biden would be an excellent Secretary of State - he's very knowledgeable about foreign affairs - and his "gaffs" are only saying it like it is - though they make him attackable - they don't diminish his effectiveness.
-2 # teineitalia 2012-01-08 00:54
I would love to see a primary challenge to Obama.... (Sanders, Kucinich, Grayson, Dean... I'll support all of them). We need someone to force him back to the left. Our country has become far too right of center, and he seems to lack the cajones or the historical wisdom to confront it. The mark of a true leader is courage-- and while it took courage for him to run, he must display it now with regard to the one thing we can never lose sight of: the rights guaranteed to all Americans embodied in the Constitution.

Having said that... if he doesn't get it right on Keystone and other energy policies, it won't matter who is left, right or center... poisoning the nest will bring us all to an awful reckoning.

It's the New Year....Best to support OWS and others ( who are actively working to raise awareness and foster citizen activism from the ground up. They're like Obie-Wan-Kenobi e right now: our only hope.

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