Marco Rubio Gets the National Spotlight

Bookmark and Share         This past Saturday, Republicans used Marco Rubio to respond to the President’s weekly radio address. The move was one  which took advantage of gaining some earned of “free” media for what is one of the mosthotly contested Senate races in 2010, while at the same time providing the opposing opinion to the one offered by President Obama.

Marco Rubio

The Party that responds to the President’s message normally tries to do whatever they can to make their rebuttal as newsworthy and powerful as possible. This is hard to do since most Americans pay little attention to this weekly tradition. Most of the time, Americans only hear a snippet of the President’s address and the opposing Party’s response, when they contain something controversial enough for the major news outlets to carry. So what is the Parties normally do is incorporate some local color that gives reason for regional and local news carriers to mention the address and response.

In this case, Republicans used Marco Rubio.

The move successfully helped Rubio to capture some brief headlines in the South and Florida specifically. That in and of itself made this week’s Republican response to President Obama, all the more worth while. It earned Rubio some free publicity and helped people get familiar with his name as well as is helped to create an impression of Rubio as a figure of national stature.

But beyond perceptions, were the content of Rubio’s response to the President’s address.

While the address is far from being an example of legendary oratorical skill, it hit the nail on the head when it comes to the catastrophic handling of America’s economy by the current ruling Democrat regime in Washington, D.C..

Rubio’s response to the President spoke of American exceptionalism and the potential for its demise in the face of an Administration and Congress that has turned its back on the free market and relies on selling our children’s futures to make up for the past and get through today.

The address also gave a glimpse into the style and substance of Marco Rubio himself. This is something that is quite important in one of the most closely watched races in the nation and will be an important factor in helping to determine who wins that election in Florida.

Rubio’s senate race has many ramifications. If he can hold on to it for Republicans, it could throw control of the US Senate into Republican hands. If he fails to win it, there is no chance of that happening .

But in addition to that, it is my contention that if Marco Rubio wins his race for the U.S. Senate, he will automatically become a potential candidate for President. Maybe not in 2012. But anytime after that.

Don’t believe me? Well how many of you thought in 2006 that Senator Barack Obama would be President by 2008? The answer to that is, at least, most of you.

In the case of Marco Rubio though, there are many underlying, politically strastegic similarities between him and Barack Obama. Both men are young, energetic, forward thinking and ideological rocks. Both men have compelling personal stories.  And  both men have demonstrated a tendency to grab opportunities when ever they can instead of waiting for them to be offered to them.

While Barack Obama has demonstrated his deep conviction to liberal values, Marco Rubio has shown his deep sense of faith in conservative values. While Barack Obama was the son of an Ethiopian whom abandoned him to his American mother who passed away and left him to be raised by his Hawaiian grandparents, Marco Rubio was raised in a stable family environment but born to Cuban exiles who fled to America to create a better life for their children. And while Barack Obama knocked his opponent off the ballot to get a seat in the state senate and then grabbed a vacant and virtually vacant seat in the U.S. Senate to then oppose the likely candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President, Marco Rubio demonstrated a similar impatience for positions of influence but achieved them through more ethical and traditional means.

Rubio was a member of his local Miami council, then ran for the state assembly and eventually became the Speaker of the Florida State Assembly, the youngest one ever. After being term limited, he soon decided to run for the United States Senate by opposing the popular Governor and establishment’s choice for the Republican nomination. Rubio was running such a great race that the Governor dropped out of the primary race and switched Parties in order to survive till Election Day.

In addition to those similarities, like Obama, Rubio can be an eloquent and powerful speaker and like Obama, Rubio has the ability to attract minority votes, Hispanic votes, the largest growing segment of the population in America.

For all those reason alone, Rubio can easily be seen as a future option for Republicans. But the other reasons for his viability as a contender begin where the similarities between Rubio and Obama end.

Unlike Obama, Rubio is a fiscal conservative who believes in less government and less taxes. Unlike Obama, Rubio does not believe it is America’s place to apologize for our exceptionalism and unlike President Obama, Marco Rubio believes in the free market, has a plan to cut federal spending and the national debt and unlike President Obama, Marco Rubio believes in personal responsibility, not federal control.

In essence Rubio has the perfect mix of similarities with and differences from President Obama…… a mix that could make him the right President at the right time.

Does this mean we will be saying President Rubio anytime soon? Probably not within the next 6 years. But you never know.

If Rubio does win his race for the United States Senate, he certainly could make a realistic run for the Republican Presidential nomination and he could use the Obama model to do so.

He is fresh, young and new. He can’t be tarred with the transgressions of poorly constructed past legislation and he can energize and appeal to a coalition of minority voters that may not otherwise be inclined to support a Republican. Rubio also comes from an important state in President elections. It possesses one of the highest electoral votes in the nation and is often considered a swing state.

All of these factors must be considered when contemplating the viability of possible candidates for President and all of these considerations work in Marco’s favor.

Which brings us to another option……..Vice President.

There is a reason why it is typical for a presidential nomineeto have first a long list and then a short list for Vice President. The long list includes all realistic possibilities in an attempt to insure that no truly good choice is overlooked. The short list is the one that has narrowed down those choices to the ones who best fit all of the following general prerequisites:

  • Competency
  • Level of confidence voters have in candidates abilities
  • Ideology
  • Regional & Electoral College influence
  • Ability to energize your base
  • Appeal to Independents

Of all these considerations, depending on who the presidentially actually is, Marco Rubio has more potential than many others. So much so that I would have to say that Rubio at least makes it to the nominees “short list”.  But it all comes down to the biggest word of all…… “If.”

“If” Marco Rubio is elected to the U.S. Senate November, both his potential presidential candidacy and his potential vice presidential candidacy will become very possible in 2012 and beyond.

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Florida GOP Features Barbour. And Super Tuesday Heats Up

Bookmark and Share Florida is a critical state in both the Republican nomination process and the presidential election process. Having one of the four largest electoral votes in the nation, this makes Florida one of the two “must haves” in the Super Tuesday primaries of the South. So what happens politically in Florida, echoes nationally. So the recent decision by the Florida’s state Republican Party to have Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour deliver the Keynote address at their annual dinner in September is having a ripple effect in Republican circles.

Now that Florida’s Republican Governor became an Independent and is running for the U.S. Senate, the slot that would have normally been reserved for the state’s top elected Republican, came open and it would seem that Haley Barbour had did not hesitate filling it.

The move is a sign that Barbour is carefully and methodically lining up support for a run for President.

Since Charlie Crist left the Party and is now campaigning against the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, it would be natural for organizers of the annual dinner to have selected Marco Rubio as their Keynote Speaker. In fact it would have been a smart move. Yet the Florida GOP has Barbour speaking instead.

Why?

Well as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, when Charlie Crist switched parties, Barbour was in close communication with state Party leaders and he has remained in touch with them. So much so that he twisted a few arms to get this much coveted speaking engaging before Florida’s Republican elite.

The move was a smart one by Barbour. Although the numbers change based on the number of Republicans officials elected to office and population, Florida sends approximately 60 delegates to the Republican National Convention.That’s just a mere drop in the bucket when you compare it to the approximately 1, 191 needed to secure the presidential nomination. But of the 822 delegates that come out of the South, that is substantial in early counts. But what’s more is the timing of Florida’s primary. It normally takes place after South Carolina but before the bulk of the South votes for the nominees on Super Tuesday.

This makes the timing of Florida’s primary even more important than its delegate count. If a candidate does poorly in South Carolina, a comeback in the big Florida primary could provide a candidate with the type of momentum that they could use to sweep the South in the weeks to follow.

Barbour knows this. That is why he swooped into to that slot as keynote speaker. To get this “invitation”, he pulled quite a few strings with Republican state Party officials and apparently Florida Republican officials like what they see in Barbour because they jumped at the chance to have their strings pulled by him.

People don’t want to be associated with losers as much as they want to be associated with winners. If Barbour was a loser, the Florida GOP would not have just sent upplumes of white smoke that signal a decision like they do at Vatican upon the election of a Pope. If Barbour was not about to seal the deal with Party leaders, the Florida GOP would not have signaled to contenders like Romney, Pawlenty, Palin, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich and others, that a favorite son of the South is about to be tapped for bigger and better things.

Of course this has set contenders like Romney and Pawlenty, off on a frenzied attempt to contact current and potential Florida supporters to make sure that that they can keep the door open for their chance to win over the Party power hitters before Barbour is able to close the door on them and lock up Florida before the race even begins.

No matter what though, right now Haley Barbour isconstructing the foundation for his candidacy and creating the playing field on which all other contenders are being forced to play catch-up with Barbour on.

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