This evening, at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Marco Rubio, the 43 year old freshman senator from Florida is probably going to announce that he is running for president. He will be one of the youngest in a relatively young field, the “Tea Party Favorite” some call him; he was one of the “radicals” that rode into the 112th congress on a wave of anger over Obamacare.
Well, now we are in the 114th congress, and Rubio is looking to ride a wave of anger over Obama in general all the way to the White House. An American born Cuban, Rubio is a man many have said was too young to run. Here are some facts.
The Catholic Freshman Senator, is currently one year older than Jack Kennedy, another Catholic senator, when Jack was elected to office. Although Rubio would be 45 when he was sworn in, making him the second youngest president in history to be elected, were it to happen.
Of course, in 1988, Dan Quayle compared himself to Kennedy when attacked about his lack of experience while he was running on the Bush/Quayle ticket to which Lloyd Bentsen responded “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.”
Although Kennedy was elected twice to the senate, (not finishing his second term to become president,) and before that he served several years in the house, Rubio served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives, both as Majority Leader and as Speaker of the House.
Rubio is also a vote getter, as shown most evidently when he ran against Florida Governor Charlie Crist in 2010 for Senate, Crist had money and popularity on his side or so it seemed, and Rubio entered the race with only 3% support. He sometimes says in speeches that everyone who thought he could win lived in his house. (He has four children.)
Rubio is entering a field that will probably soon be crowded with Republicans of every stripe, and possibly by some people that aren’t really Republicans at all. He has made errors in the past, such as his being a part of the “Gang of Eight” that tried to reform immigration, but then the Boston Bombing happened, they were unable to announce, and eventually their scheme died.
But Rubio is also someone who has a history of being able to make deals. When he became Speaker of the House in Florida, he was forced to fight against long odds, and when he became senator the odds were probably ever longer. In the coming weeks and months we will learn more about him and his ideas for America.
Rubio has always had a history of following a favorite Kennedy maxim: "We may not be able to do it better than anyone else, but we can work a lot harder than anyone else."
Andrew C. Abbott #thelovestate