Must-read excerpt: Obama on running vs. Rubio: “He might get his ass kicked”

By on August 20, 2012

I just finished the new e-book from POLITICO, “Obama’s Last Stand” in which second-guessing among the President’s advisers about personnel, strategy and tactics is a dominant theme of the reelection effort. The e-book is a must read for every political aficionado, especially for those in Florida, who will be struck by the President’s brashness at the prospect of facing the Sunshine State’s junior senator, Marco Rubio.

Here is the excerpt from the first pages of the book that is sure to incense Team Rubio:

Barack Obama had just arrived for a fundraiser at a hotel Coral Gables, Florida, a soaring sandstone pile of Roaring Twenties opulence that had once attracted the likes of Bing Crosby, Al Capone, and FDR.

The date was February 23, 2012 and Obama was in town to collect $4 million at a trio of big-money events. S[rung from the Oval Office, out on the trail, he was in a lighthearted, fighting modd.

A few weeks earlier the GOP primary had out of town, and to Obama the results – a decisive win for Mitt Romney – mattered less than the relentless Republican attacks on his record. He hated being on the sidelines.

Peering into the sea of faces, Obama, spied an old friend, a local Republican activist.

The woman, Obama knew, was close to Florida’s charismatic junior senator, Marco Rubio, at the time considered to be the most dangerous potential No. 2 on the GOP ticket in November.

The incumbent flashed the toothy, expansive gren he uses to defuse conflict, deliver a zinger, or issue a friendly warning.

“So, is your boy going to go for it?” Obama asked, loud enough for someone nearby to hear.

The woman certainly wasn’t expecting this sort of welcome. But she had seen this side of Obama before, the puckish trash-talker – not the professor who delivered high-minded lectures to eye-rolling senators.

“I don’t know. It could happen,” the woman said with  laugh.

Obama’s smile widened. Eyes twinkled and narrowed. The president craned in even closer, hand on her shoulder – Obama’s characteristc gesture of playful confrontation – as his retinue of Secret Service agents scanned the area and aides fidgeted over their folders and schedule sheets.

“Well,” he said, chuckling. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”

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