WASHINGTON — When Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, last appeared with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss their plans for a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, he looked optimistic, apple-cheeked — and slightly nervous.
Given the disdain some conservatives reserve for Republicans who consort publicly with Democrats, he had reason to be.
The next time Mr. Rubio is likely to appear with his colleagues in the eight-person bipartisan group could be an even bigger moment, when its members officially introduce joint immigration legislation this month. The probable tableau seems ready-made for problems in the 2016 Republican presidential primary fight in which many expect Mr. Rubio to partake: images of Mr. Rubio, smiling and celebrating alongside Democratic senators and maverick Republicans as he claims co-authorship of an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that many Republicans will reject.
And so the question percolating on Capitol Hill has become: Will Mr. Rubio, an up-and-coming young conservative elected on a 2010 Tea Party wave, ultimately sign onto the immigration bill that he has been helping to draft ever since the November election?
“We have to see if the Boy Wonder plays ball or not,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group.
Can anybody imagine the Boy Wonder won't ultimately kow-tow?