Well, Marco Rubio is now the U.S. Senate-elect for the State of Florida. And no matter how you want to look at the election (should Meek have stayed in the race or not), Rubio was going to win the election regardless.
Of course, many Democrats voted for Charlie Crist (I didn’t, I am living in Illinois right now, so it is nice that I really don’t have to answer the “who did you vote for” question, as my answer is Alexi Giannoulias), and there were a number a reasons why Democrats casted their vote this way. Of course, we always hear the “Rubio is too extreme, and a vote for Meek is a vote for Rubio.” And this argument, while true, was the predominate reason Democrats both endorsed and voted for Governor Crist.
But one of my friends had a different take on the situation. He said “I voted for Crist because Marco Rubio is going to be a leader in the GOP, and he could be the VP candidate for the GOP in 2012. Hell, someday he could be President. I just don’t want to see him in that situation.” I agree 100%.
While all of us in Democratic circles say Rubio is a nut, there are many Floridians out there (which is apparent by the election results) that look at him as an “alright guy.” And while he might be a member of the crazy Tea Party Express, there is a huge difference between him and his fellow Express Senate candidates around the county.
First, no matter how we look at it, he is a good speaker. Here is a clip of him speaking on Fox during the campaign:
Now here is Sharron Angle:
Who comes off as more professional? Who comes off as more polished? Who comes off as smarter? Exactly, Rubio.
Second, out of the new Young Guns that the Republicans are promoting, who is the new GOP US Senator from the biggest battleground state in any Presidential election? Yep, Marco Rubio.
Third, no matter how we look at him, he is smart. Rubio doesn’t have any of those “the two wars we’re in is exactly what we are in” moments. He knows the issues, he knows how to speak to the media, and he knows to be on his toes at all times.
Unlike other Tea Partiers, the worse thing that anyone could really find him saying is that we need to look at the Social Security age issue. He doesn’t make mistakes like Angle, O’Donnell, Paladino or Buck. Again, very smart not to say the wrong things at the right time.
Fourth, he is good-looking. And if you don’t think it makes a difference, it does, to both men and women. For men, he is someone who comes across as profession and well-kept which, in turn, usually relates to being “smart” or “successful”. For the women, the same applies. But in addition, you will have the “he’s cute” vote for Rubio, which is important. That is the reason why more men like Sarah Palin than women, and by a large margin as well.
Marco Rubio has all the makings of a future Presidential candidate. He walks the walk, talks to talk, lives in the right place, is good-looking, doesn’t make mistakes, knows how to handle the media and is already being pushed by the GOP leadership as one of their “rising stars”.
My friends (stealing the phrase from John McCain), if we aren’t careful in really going after Rubio in the next two years, he could easily be President Rubio in the next six years.
And please, don’t give me the “he hasn’t been in there long enough to be President”. Barack Obama? I rest my case.