Now that, in one poll, Marco Rubio has zoomed to within 3% of Mitt Romney among Republican presidential hopefuls, it is fair to start asking whether he is a viable presidential candidate.
First, a few facts for you:
Marco Rubio\’s political history is that in the 1990\’s, while in his 20\’s, Rubio became a City Commissioner in West Miami. He won election to the Florida House of Representatives in 1999 (at the age of 28) and served in that capacity from 2000 into 2009. In 2006 he was elected by his peers as Speaker of the Florida House. In 2010 he won election to the U.S. Senate and has served in that capacity to the present time.
That is a very impressive political resume. But it is one which shows no executive experience….which, in my opinion, is – and should be – a major deficit for any Presidential candidate. One look at the performance of the current no-executive-experience President should tell you why.
On the other hand, if Rubio runs against Hillary Clinton, that issue disappears, because the only things she has ever run were handed to her by her husband: head of Arkansas Education Standards when he was Governor (Arkansas\’ ranking went from #49 in the country to #49…no change) and head of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform when he was President (an unmitigated disaster, which created a monstrosity so bad that even Democrats would not vote for it).
Rubio\’s personal story is very impressive. His father was a bartender, his mother a housekeeper. He worked his way through law school and personally repaid his own educational debt. On the other hand, Rubio also lied about the circumstances regarding his parents leaving Cuba (he claimed they escaped Castro but, in reality, they left years before Castro took over the country), which will come back to haunt him in a general election.
Rubio is Latino, fluent in Spanish, and is, let us say, flexible on immigration/amnesty for illegals. That will no doubt help him among Latino voters…while barely hurting him among Republicans/conservatives who oppose amnesty, because it is an ironclad guarantee that the Democrat alternative, Hillary or otherwise, will be even worse to them on that issue.
Other than immigration/amnesty, Rubio is strongly conservative…which will make him a non-starter for the left (who would not have voted for him anyway) and some of the middle (who might have). But the combination of some middle, and just about all rightward voters, with a significantly increased component of Latinos, could make him a very strong candidate.
And, again assuming she is the Democrat nominee, the juxtaposition of young (45 years old next year), dynamic Marco Rubio to old (she will be 69 years old next year), tired, “her again?” Hillary Clinton, is striking, and could be a major factor in the election.
Clearly, Marco Rubio is someone to watch.
(Hmmm, “Her Again Hillary”? I like that. Even the acronym works: HAH! I\’ll be using it in future blogs.)