But three days later, at a university rally in Virginia before Super Tuesday, he took the anti-Trump onslaught in a new and uncharacteristic direction, mocking his opponent’s “spray tan” and “small hands,” a below-the-belt reference to Trump’s manhood. As the college crowd went berserk, Rubio’s aides were besieged with dazed and irate missives from donors, allies, and friends. Rubio’s reputation as conservatism’s upbeat, optimistic standard-bearer — so meticulously crafted over so many years — was dissolving before their eyes. They feared it could mark not just the demise of his 2016 campaign, but the collapse of what once seemed a bright political future.Game is about emulating the naturally successful, but that emulation is a gradual process of transformation. It's like lifting weights; lift, and over time you will get bigger and be able to bench press 225 pounds without any trouble.
Rubio’s team defended the ad hominem attacks as a necessary evil, arguing that they had no other way to eat into Trump’s wall-to-wall media coverage. “There’s this tension between staying on substance and playing to what’s become a reality-TV election,” one Rubio adviser says. “And we gave in to the urge to play to reality TV.” It nonetheless represented a stark and bizarre departure, and, making matters worse, it failed to reverse the downward trajectory of Rubio’s campaign.
But try it the first time out and you're going to smash your sternum. Don't try to fake who you are, transform who you are. And transformation is a process, not a declaration or an act.