The Slatest

Harry Reid Wants Marco Rubio to Resign. A Brief List of Presidential Candidates Who Didn’t.

Unless we’re having another Potsdam conference and Sen. Marco Rubio just absolutely must be there, he’s probably good not to resign.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has joined the chorus of totally disinterested, non-politically motivated parties calling on Marco Rubio to resign from his Senate seat while he continues to seek the GOP nomination for the presidency.

“Why shouldn’t he [resign]? He hates the Senate,” Reid told Politico on Thursday. “Why should the taxpayers of this country and people of Florida put up with having only one senator? Doesn’t seem fair to me.”

Reid continued his completely non-trolling call for the Florida Senator’s resignation by describing him as a “non-entity” in the body.

“For Marco Rubio here to dump on the Senate, this institution established by our founding fathers, he should be ashamed of himself,” Reid added, completely disimpassioned from what his simple plea on behalf of the Floridian people might mean for Rubio’s presidential prospects. “And the people of Florida, why they put up with it, I don’t know. They damn sure aren’t getting their money’s worth.”

Reid joined former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is running for president against Rubio and also doesn’t have a dog in this fight except for the decent citizens of Florida, in calling for Rubio to leave the office. The calls come after the Sun-Sentinel wrote an editorial imploring him to leave the office because he has missed more votes than any other senator this year and because an anonymous friend told the Washington Post that he “hates it” there.

As Rubio pointed out when Bush confronted him with this request in Wednesday’s GOP debate, though, Bush wasn’t bothered that John McCain remained in the Senate when McCain was running for president in 2008, endorsing him for the White House.

He also noted that the Sun-Sentinal did not call for Barack Obama’s resignation from the Senate in 2008 when the then-Illinois senator had even worse absenteeism rates, and the newspaper even endorsed Obama at the time.

Rubio also cited John Kerry as another presidential candidate who uncontroversially kept his day job while also running for president in 2004. But he could have gone much further! Here is a brief list of modern presidential nominees (not even candidates, just nominees) since 1948 who ran for president while keeping their high-profile public service day jobs (incumbent presidents and vice presidents excluded). Winning candidates are in bold:

Sen. Barack Obama (Illinois), 2008
Sen. John McCain (Arizona), 2008
Sen. John Kerry (Massachusetts), 2004
Gov. George W. Bush (Texas), 2000
Gov. Bill Clinton (Arkansas), 1992
Gov. Michael Dukakis (Massachusetts), 1988
Sen. George McGovern (South Dakota), 1972
Sen. Barry Goldwater (Arizona), 1964
Sen. John F. Kennedy (Massachusetts), 1960
Gov. Adlai Stevenson (Illinois), 1952
Gov. Thomas Dewey (New York), 1948

And here is a list of nominees who quit their day jobs:

Sen. Bob Dole (Kansas), 1996
1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

So unless Rubio is going to be needed to lead NATO’s Allied Command Operations against our communist adversaries in Europe, I think it’s probably safe for him to stay in his job for now.