As most Americans eagerly await Mitt Romney’s announcement for his choice of running mate in the November election, many Floridians are doubly anxious to see if the possible vice presidential candidate to-be is native son Marco Rubio.
Born and raised in Miami, Rubio would bring a nuanced balance to the Romney campaign. Whereas Mr. Romney is portrayed in the light of privileged, white America, Rubio’s humble background as he’s the son of Cuban immigrants serves as a countermeasure to claims of Romney being out of touch with blue-collar America. Add to the mix Rubio’s Hispanic heritage, and the fast-rising Republican star becomes an invaluable commodity to help sway the minority vote in favor of Romney.
However, it’s not just socio-economic politics that are at play. At 41 years old, Rubio would bring a sense of vitality and charisma to a Romney campaign that on the surface lacks the appeal to draw the interest of young voters. Rubio could help deliver a younger demographic, and his addition to the ticket as the spry, energetic VP would directly penetrate one of President Obama’s campaign strongholds.
In the wake of the London Olympics, the selection of Rubio as a running mate would also carry with it fanfare from the senator’s recently introduced proposed legislation; a bill that would exempt Olympians from paying taxes on prize money they receive for medaling at the Games. Rubio’s statement, “We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it,” paints him as a common-sense man of the people. It’s this endearing reasonability that should be coveted by the GOP as they prepare for their convention.
Most importantly for Republicans in Florida, the selection of Rubio would signify a positive, national high point for a state recently besieged with political woes. With Republican Governor Rick Scott’s dismal approval rating and former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer verbally smearing the party he once ran, having Senator Rubio represent the Sunshine State as the candidate for VP would definitely be a bright spot for all conservative Floridians.
With his charm, appeal, and diversity, not to mention Florida’s 29 electoral votes, the selection of Rubio as running mate would be a prudent decision that could likely propel Mitt Romney to victory in November.