Jon Chait has a smart read how Rubio got to the top of the GOP heap:
As recently as a few months ago, Paul Ryan — despite his nominal subordinate position to Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket — was the unassailable leader of the Republican Party. But Marco Rubio appears to have seized the mantle from Ryan. Or, at least, if Ryan is the party’s mind, Rubio is its face, the Bush to Ryan’s Cheney.
The party’s brief post-election period of questioning its direction has, for the time being, been settled in favor of what I call the Krauthammer plan. This strategy was laid out by the ubiquitous pundit in a column published a mere two days after the election. In it, Krauthammer audaciously declared that the party needed to take a dive on immigration reform, and otherwise change nothing else.
Correctomente. Chait goes on to say that Republicans seem to think that if immigration reform does pass, it will somehow be Rubio's great victory, and not Obama's. This of course is exactly what they will try to say, and places like Politico will sort of buy it. Certainly, if immigation reform does pass, he overtakes Ryan and all the others as the front runner for 2016. But the idea that it will be his baby, when he opposed a path to citizenship until a few weeks ago, is absurd, and most Americans will know that.