Marco Rubio started the race for his party's nomination young. Too young, if you ask Jeb Bush, his political big brother, or if you listen to Donald Trump, as many did. He dubbed him "Little Marco," and it stuck. On Tuesday night, Rubio suffered the first loss of his storied career and it was a devastating one. Trump whomped him by almost 20 points in his home state.
All political defeats are hard: They're so public and, at the same time, so personal. Grown men weep. There's an added hurt in Rubio's case. He was soundly rejected by the people who used to love him the most.
It would be easy to blame Trump, and in his concession speech Rubio did some of that by deploring a political climate in which "people literally hate each other."
But, in truth, he was felled by a general disgust with politicians. Rubio won his Senate seat in 2010 as a tea party darling. By 2016, he might as well have been dining nightly with Nancy Pelosi. To the angry base, he had become a Washington elite, in cahoots with Chuck Schumer on immigration to boot.