Family Values

Followup to last night’s debate:

Didn’t Rubio essentially disqualify himself when he said he’d prioritize his job as a parent over his job as President of the United States?

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10 Responses to “Family Values”


  1. 1 1 Nonsi Las

    Nope! The president definitely needs to be able to dupe large numbers of people with pleasant-sounding promises he won’t literally keep, and that statement proves he knows how to do it!

  2. 2 2 Roger

    He did not exactly say that. Here is what he said, but he misspoke so it is a little confusing.

    RUBIO: The most important job I’m ever going to have, the most important job anyone in this room will ever have, is the job of being a parent. Not the job of being president, or the job of being a senator, or the job of being a congressman. The most important job any of us will ever do is the job of being a president (sic), because the most important institution in society is the family. If the family breaks down, society breaks down.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/10/well-be-annotating-the-gop-debate-here/

  3. 3 3 John Faben

    From my understanding, most people who are parents would actually do this whether they promised to or not, so maybe he deserves credit for admitting his own limitations as a president?

  4. 4 4 Harold

    He said it was more important, not that he would prioritise being a parent over being a president.

    It is total nonsense of course. He says it is *because* family is the most important institution. If he personally fails in his job as a parent, it will not damage the institution to any appreciable degree. If he fails in his job as president it may have a very appreciable effect on the institution, and even on the family.

  5. 5 5 Ken

    How exactly does this disqualify him from being president?

  6. 6 6 Harold

    If he were to actually prioritise his job as a parent, then we could end up with nuclear war because he was at the school Nativity play.

    I am sure he can have it both ways by delegating the parental responsibilites to his wife, who will attend all the plays and concerts, and by providing high quality professional childcare. He will believe that he is in fact still doing a very good parenting role even if he misses these things due to presidential business.

    Which is why it is posturing nonsense. Uttering such tired platitudes should disqualify him, but probably won’t.

  7. 7 7 nobody.really

    Didn’t Rubio essentially disqualify himself when he said he’d prioritize his job as a parent over his job as President of the United States?

    1. You misunderstood Rubio. He said, “The most important job I’m ever going to have, the most important job anyone in this room will ever have, is the job of being apparent.”

    That is, he promises not to be invisible. Which distinguishes him from his rival from Florida.

    Or perhaps he means that his greatest concern is his appearance — to present a credible exterior, regardless of his inner truth, as in the expression “more apparent than real.” And that’s probably a fair characterization of the job of president.

    2. What does “prioritize” mean? My econ theory suggests that people pursue all good simultaneously, and shift their choices as relative costs, benefits, and resources change. As far as I can tell, any discussion of “prioritizing” is inevitably a rhetorical fiction.

    It is unclear what “prioritizing a job as a parent” could possibly mean even in theory. You’d pursue parenting activities, cost be damned, until there was no marginal benefit to be achieved?

  8. 8 8 nobody.really

    Tangentially related: Didn’t Paul Ryan basically say that he wanted to give greater weight to family concerns than had previously been the pattern among those who held the job of Speaker of the House?

    As Colbert remarked, this was a tactical error. Saying “I need to spend more time with my family” is the traditional method of resigning before some scandal becomes known. How will Ryan get out of his job now? “I need to spend ALL of my time with my family?”

  9. 9 9 khodge

    Agree with Ken @5…much prefer the president taking care of his kids. How long does it really take to veto a bill?

    What we have now is a president who thinks his primary responsibility is turning the executive branch into a hands-on dictatorship.

  10. 10 10 Ken

    Why no interest in answering my question, Dr. Landsburg?

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