I remember a conversation with a co-worker, where we asked ourselves, "What is he doing?"
To be fair, Rubio wasn't totally unknown, considering he served as Speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives, but he wasn't exactly a household name to most Floridians, as was the Governor.
In fact, the rumor up to that point was that he would make a run for Governor to replace Crist.
Boy were we wrong.
Rubio not only won the Republican nomination but his lead over Crist was so wide before the primaries that Crist decided to run as an Independent in hopes of swaying Democratic votes in the General Elections.
Crist's plan failed miserably. With the help of the Tea Party, and disenfranchised voters upset at the Democratic leadership in Washington, Rubio swept into victory over his former GOP rival, turned Independent, and Democratic challenger Kendrick Meek last November.
After his first trip abroad to Afghanistan and Pakistan right after his swear-in, the freshman Senator visited the Noticias 23 Univision Newsroom in Doral, where I make my living as the Assignment Manager. Our newsroom is not unfamiliar to Rubio, who served as a Noticias 23 political analyst before his decision to run for the federal seat.
The 39-year-old Cuban-American from West Miami is a rising star in the Republican Party and considered a future presidential candidate. Some political pundits are already mentioning him as a potential VP candidate, as early as the 2012 race.
Rubio is a pro-life Catholic, who was a member of my parish community before launching his run for the Senate. Several years ago, as part of a parish lecture series, he was invited by our pastor to give a talk about living his faith in the political arena.
Keep your eye on Rubio in the coming years.