By ZACH NOBLE
At 6 a.m. on March 1, I was lined up with my wife and infant daughter to vote in Virginia's primary.
You probably shouldn't vote for the guy I voted for.
I cast my ballot for Sen. Marco Rubio because he seemed essentially decent. His attempt at bipartisan immigration reform made me think that, perhaps, he could work constructively as president to address pressing issues. At least he'd try. His tax proposals valued families, and his young, Cuban image was a welcome new addition to the creaky pallor of American politics.
Mostly though, he wasn't Trump.
A week and a half later, Rubio's campaign seems to be falling apart.
He didn't win Virginia (but we were so close), and has only managed to clinch Minnesota and Puerto Rico so far.
His polling's in the toilet, maybe because his campaign rhetoric took a potty humor dip.
(He did the right thing in my book though; Trump is a monster and deserved a taste of his own medicine. I'm convinced Trump was hurt, at least a little, by Rubio's below-the-belt jabs.)
In the history books, people will probably say Rubio's sinking to gutter innuendo destroyed his campaign. Maybe it did. In the here-and-now, Republicans will argue that Sen. Ted Cruz can't beat Hillary Clinton in a general election, but Rubio can. That may be.
But none of that really matters at this point.
What matters is that there's still an ego-maniacal charlatan, who lies often and insultingly about issues big and small, poised to seize the GOP nomination and then, God forbid, the presidency. The man cannot be trusted with casinos, let alone nuclear warheads.
Some decent people may think they have good reasons to vote for Trump. To all those decent people, and to the many more decent people who have decided to vote against Trump, Cruz has snatched the mantle of the anti-Trump.
"I wasn't the first choice, and in the case of some of these folks, I wasn't the second choice," Rubio said of his supporters last month. "[B]ut now they are realizing that this is what the race is, these are the finalists and they made the choice that they think is best."
Now the tides have shifted and Rubio, for all his merits, doesn't seem to be the best choice.
*Might. Some conservatives are making the argument that #NeverTrump voters should still turn out for Rubio in Florida since he had a huge lead on the Donald in early polling and is currently within 7 points of the lead. It's all about keeping those 99 winner-take-all delegates from Trump. But don't let that distract you from the overall imperative: We need someone who can take out Trump, and that seems to be Cruz.
Zach Noble is a journalist who has covered everything from the OPM hack to a rescue dog's retirement party. He's been wrestling to reconcile his bleeding heart Catholicism with his pragmatic libertarianism since that freshman year love affair with Ayn Rand. He tweets erratically as @thezachnoble.