Rubio began the year not just championing comprehensive immigration reform, but making himself its primary salesman to the right. But the effort stumbled in the House, souring Rubio’s love affair with the conservative base in the process. He spent the rest of the year kowtowing to the far right, embracing sequestration (which he once opposed) and joining the disastrous push to shut down the government over Obamacare. By December, Rubio had sunk to the second tier of potential presidential contenders. He must now reestablish himself as the future of the Republican Party, not just a politician captive to its extreme elements.
Biggest Political Winners of 2013