Michael Sean Winters reports on Thursday on the appearance of Marco Rubio at Catholic University of America. You can see his comments (and an unnecessary dig at Obama) at http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/sen-rubio-cua. As always, my comments follow:
I would not expect Rubio to offer proposals. That is not the job of a junior Senator of the minority party, even if he is testing the waters for President. He has bought into the Kool-Aid that the people are buying his personality, not his future self (and, frankly, most of what a President does has nothing to do with his or her stated position - the job kind of throws itself at you - like the Ukraine crisis which was not on the horizon in 2008, or even 2012 or 2013).
Most issues are outside what a President can do. Gay marriage is one of them. With the exception of a few judicial activists on the right, no one a modern President appoints will vote to overturn Roe - not even Alito). Gay rights is another one of those. All of the federal courts which have looked at the issue have supported marriage equality. Period. While a Republican president could reintroduce a constitutional amendment overturning it, it is unlikely to get much support - especially because the House Democratic Leader is from the Bay Area. The only option is to support a call for a constitutional convention - although public opinion is shifting so fast on this issue I doubt that two-thirds of the state legislators will join the call (unless Citizens United is also on the menu - of course once it gets going, a lot of things could get on the menu, which is why state legislators never quite get a all complete).
The question is, how did the audience respond? That is the most important thing in determining the success of this kind of meet and greet. Was a web page announced so people could sign up to help online or to "connect'? or did somone take names and business cards? (to be old fashioned). That is how you know if these things did well. If there was no such call for supporters, Rubio is a rank amateur raking in speakers fees.
As far as Obama, how he is doing depends on which echo chamber you are in. MSW seems to be hanging with those who think Obama's term is all but over - which is almost never the case in year six of a presidency. If the Democrats can win the House, which is possible depending on GOTV, then he will get much more done in the last two years than he did the middle four. While those who exepct him to be a theologian might not like that, those of us who voted for him will.