An Ohio television interview scheduled to air Sunday will feature Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio reiterating that he isn't interested in the vice presidential nomination.
"I'm not going to be the vice president, and I'm not running for a national office," Rubio told the Ohio News Network. When asked if he would decline if asked, Rubio said, "It's been my answer every time I've been asked; it's not going to change now."
He has said it over and over again. But a Politico story earlier this week outlines steps he and his political action committee are taking that signal other plans -- or at least possibilities.
The story, headlined online as "Marco Rubio builds A-Team to control image, bio," reports that he's spending "an extraordinary amount of time, money and effort to define himself on the national stage before his political enemies -- and a probing press corps -- do it first." Scott Wong reports the first-term senator is "racing" to publish his autobiography and repeats the revelation that Rubio's PAC spent more than $40,000 to investigate, uh, Rubio:
Some in his operation say the staffing and money spent are comparable to Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's efforts when they arrived in the Senate with big names and even bigger ambition... "We spent a day and a half explaining what church he went to when he was 8," lamented one top adviser. "We are getting a proctological exam on a daily basis."
Maybe he's been forced into the national spotlight against his will, or maybe he's just saying he doesn't want to be vice president in public to keep people off his back for a while. If Rubio is discussing things with Romney (or Santorum or Gingrich or whomever), he's certainly not going to be held to whatever he said he wanted to do with his life on an Ohio TV station.
It seems pretty clear now that no amount of "I don't wannas" will convince people he's not a legitimate possibility for Republican running mate -- in addition to the persistent attention he gets as a result of all the persistent attention he's been getting, places that take bets on this kind of thing have Rubio as the favorite across the board -- 5:2 odds at Ladbrokes.com, 11:4 at Paddypower.com, and 3:1 at Betfair.com as of Thursday morning, just to name a few, plus the futures contracts at InTrade.com putting Rubio as the number-one possibility out of 53 contenders.
I'm not suggesting online gambling odds are a reliable method for predicting complex political maneuvers. But they reflect popular thoughts -- many of which, it seems, involve Rubio saying something other than "no."