Archive for April 6th, 2010
He hasn’t even won his Senate primary, yet that hasn’t stopped the media from speculating that former House Speaker Marco Rubio could, should and maybe would step right into the 2012 presidential sweepstakes.
Here’s part of the argument, as made by Politics Daily contributor Matt Lewis — and, yes, it makes sense:
“Rubio would start off as a fresh face whom almost every conservative in America would already be invested in, to one degree or another. Conversely, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee, to mention a few of the high-profile potential candidates, have scars from 2008 that won’t fully heal in the next two years. Some past supporters may feel let down by them, and former enemies may still hold grudges. Romney, the presumptive front-runner, is harmed by his support of “Romneycare” in Massachusetts. Other potential candidates, such as Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi (who also served as RNC chairman and worked as a lobbyist) have backgrounds that might label them as D.C. insiders. Rubio has no such baggage.”
Sure, there would be blowback, beginning with the impression of Rubio being overambitious, and too much of a young man (he turns 39 next month) in a hurry. The criticism: he’d need real Senate accomplishments before offering himself as a national politician.
Then again, Barack Obama took off for the national circuit right after winning his first and only term in the U.S. Senate, in 2004. And you might remember how effective those arguments were that Obama was too inexperienced, and more of a show horse than a Senate workhorse.
Maybe Rubio waits until at least 2016. And perhaps one day he lives up to all the hype as the next Reagan — or, even, given his Floria pedigree, the next Jeb Bush.
But with all due respect to Mr. Lewis and his fellow scribes, speculation like this does show a flaw with today’s political coverage. It was barely 60 days that Scott Brown, the newly elected senator from Massachusetts, held a press conference — and reporters began touting him as a 2012 dark horse.
Patience, people. Patience . . .
Not to mention how the UC is trying new ways to make do with less, such as bringing in more out-of-state students (for the higher tuition), offering more courses online and trying to move more kids through the undergrad pipeline in three years, not four.
My particular concern is the changing guidelines for UC admissions.
It seems officials want to broaden the pool of California high-schoolers it’ll consider, from top 12-1/2% that’s been in place for the past half-century to the top 20% of h.s. classes.
It’s ditched the requirement that applicants take two SAT subject tests (i.e., history and a language).
The goal is what UC President Mark Yudof likes to call a more “holistic” review process. That means less importance placed on test performance, and greater consideration to life experience and life circumstances — on other words, offering admissions to high-schoolers who otherwise would have been rejected in a traditional point-based formula.
The bottom line: since its passage in 1996, California academics have tried to find ways to work around Proposition 209, which prohibited California public universities from engaging in racial quotas. While “holistic” doesn’t violate the law, it does push the envelope.
And, I worry, it distracts from the lingering that just won’t go away: those underperforming K-12 schools that deprive kids of a quality education, and put them at a disadvantage come admission-time .