The Republican Obama, The Crown Prince of the Tea Party, The Great Right Hope, The Michael Jordan of Republican Politics – although, LeBron James may be a more appropriate in this case for the Miami-born junior Senator from Florida – whatever people call Marco Rubio, he’s on Mitt Romney’s short list of VP candidates and his given name may be about to go global.
The comparisons to President Obama center around Rubio’s relative youth and good looks, his dynamic speaking style and the political experience he’s garnered at the state level. It may also be fair to mention that where Obama has the "birthers" questioning his personal story, Rubio could bring about his own "revisioners" movement. Part of the senator’s American backstory revolved around his parents’ flight from Cuba. I have “nothing against immigrants, but my parents are exiles” he once said. Well, not so much — his parents left Cuba in May of 1956, a full two and a half years before Castro took over the country, which makes them economic migrants not the political refugees he has claimed. The other piece of history Rubio’s Tea Party friends like to forget is that, no matter his parents’ story, his grandfather almost certainly spent time as an illegal immigrant in this country. Oops.
So, why does the extreme right love him so much? Is it because, as a "good" Catholic, he believes women can’t be trusted to take care of their own reproductive system and that he says he wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned? Perhaps, but the trouble with his Catholicism is, well, he isn’t totally Catholic. Rubio, cynically plays both sides of the Christian field by also regularly attending the Christ Fellowship — a Southern Baptist church.
Cuban-Americans in Florida, particularly in Miami-Dade County, are a powerful voting bloc but they only make up 3.5% of the national Hispanic population and many people of Hispanic origin resent the special treatment Cubans are given by the government, which may be why Rubio failed to win 45% of the Hispanic vote in his senatorial bid. Therefore, is he really going to bring in the voters from the ever growing Hispanic population in the numbers needed to make a difference to the Romney campaign?
Ultimately, even though his personal backstory is shady at best, he is two-timing the pope, and his ability to impact Hispanic voters is doubtful, the confederate flag flying rednecks of non-coastal Florida may just love Rubio because he is living their dream — he is, after all, married to a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader….