What would you do if there was a campaign staffer right in front of you, sitting all alone, crying in pain from lack of contact with real human beings, near death from vitamin deficiency due to a diet consisting of mostly fried fair foods, day-old pizza, and Keurig coffee?
Would you look away? Or would you do something to help?
What if I told you that all it would take to save that campaign staffer’s life was just $250 a day, made payable to Marco Rubio for President?
Rubio, currently in fourth place in the Republican primary, is not waiting until he gets elected president to make the world a better place.
On the senator from Florida’s official campaign store, it is now possible to “ADOPT A STAFFER FOR THE DAY” for $250 plus FREE shipping (it is not clear how the staffers will be shipped).
Generous souls will be rewarded by the campaign with “recognition on Twitter & our website” as well as a personal “update” from the adopted staffer and a postcard. The spiritual reward, however, is potentially limitless.
Worryingly, the Rubio for President website is light on details regarding staffer adoption.
For instance, it’s not clear if “the day” refers to a full, 24-hour period or just the business day, or if the $250 will go toward food, water, shelter, and clothing for the staffer, or if background checks will be conducted on all prospective adopters. A spokesperson for Rubio has not yet replied to a request for clarification.
And it seems in their effort to do good for mankind, the Rubio campaign forgot that politics is a rough and tumble world where your enemies are constantly looking for ways to undermine you.
Putting your staffers up for adoption if you run a coffee shop or the Wonka Factory is one thing, but putting your campaign staffers up for adoption in the midst of the Republican primary is fraught with pitfalls.
If too many staffers are temporarily adopted too regularly, there won’t be a campaign operation at all. If too few staffers are adopted, there may be infighting among staffers hurt by the fact that no one wants them.
Worse, the Rubio campaign did not outline any rules for what adoptive staffer-chaperones will be allowed to do with the staffer.
So if a staffer is adopted by someone more fun than Marco Rubio, he or she may be too distracted by having a good time to complete menial campaign tasks.
And if a staffer is adopted by a rival campaign, they could be forced into compromising situations or criminal activities, which would result in negative attention for Rubio.
Donald Trump, who this morning called Rubio a “lightweight” and last week called him a “clown,” could feasibly decide that name-calling is less effective than outright poaching and adopt every single Rubio staffer, effectively placing the Rubio campaign on life support.
(Asked if he would actually consider doing this, a spokesperson for Trump did not respond.)