Rubio has already stated that he will not run for president or vice president in 2012. No doubt some of that is due to the prevailing wisdom that states that Obama is virtually unbeatable -- but part of it is also due to Rubio's knowledge that a young party outsider with a short resume isn't welcome in the halls of Republican power politics.
No matter. We must draft him.
His story is wildly compelling. His parents fled Cuba after Castro's rise, winding up in Miami, where Rubio was born. They moved to Las Vegas, where his father worked as a bartender and his mother as a housekeeper. When they moved back to Miami, his dad kept bartending while his mom became a Kmart stock clerk. "No matter where I go or what title I may achieve, I will always be the son of exiles," Rubio says.
Rubio attended college on a football scholarship before transferring to the University of Florida and then to the University of Miami for his law degree. At the age of 29, Rubio joined the Florida House of Representatives, serving for the next eight years as a conservative stalwart and rising to become Florida's Speaker of the House.
The difference between Rubio's narrative and Obama's could not be more stark: Rubio's parents fled foreign tyranny to pursue the American dream and sacrificed for their children to succeed, while Obama's mother fled the United States as often as possible and taught him to dislike his country. Rubio worked his way up the ladder at a young age because he knew what America promised, while Obama worked his way up and found doors open to him, but he never accepted that only the American way of life made this possible. Their contrasting narratives manifest in Rubio's tremendous optimism and patriotism and in Obama's contrasting pessimism about what America is and should be.
Rubio's family is straight out of a magazine: His wife is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and he has four gorgeous children. He speaks fluent Spanish. He is religious and has attended both Catholic and Protestant churches; he is now Southern Baptist. He is one of the leading members of the tea party in Congress -- he wants to slash taxes and revamp benefits programs, which would free American business. He's also a solid social conservative across the board, from abortion to same-sex marriage.
Will the Republican Party anoint him? To do so would require a tremendous change in philosophy, from one of dues-paying to one of merit. It's about time that the GOP underwent that process. Both the GOP and America would be better for it.
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