It’s fine for Sen. Marco Rubio to oppose the Obama administration’s diplomatic detente with Cuba. But Rubio’s doing so in odd fashion, particularly for someone who wants to be president. Rubio is holding a hostage: President Barack Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Mexico.
Obama has nominated Roberta Jacobson, a diplomat with deep experience in Latin American affairs, for the post. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee signed off on her in November on a 12-7 vote, sending it to the Senate floor for confirmation. Several Republicans, including the committee chairman, supported the nomination.
Rubio, though, has blocked a floor vote. Rubio’s main beef with Jacobson is that, as an assistant secretary of state, she helped negotiate Obama’s opening to Cuba.
“We need an ambassador in Mexico City that has the trust of Congress for this important post,” Rubio said in November. “I do not believe that Ms. Jacobson is that person and will oppose her confirmation.”
You find out if she has the trust of Congress by putting the nomination to a confirmation vote. The use of Senate power to prevent that vote just affirms the sense that Rubio’s first priority is perpetuating gridlock.
But you’d think Rubio would recognize the inevitable outcome of a successful campaign for the presidency is that you become … president. Sen. Rubio has forgotten what President Rubio would rudely discover: people have long memories.