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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Senator Marco Rubio and Me...

 When Marco Rubio announced his intentions to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez in the summer of 2009, not many people, including me, gave him much of a chance to beat then popular Governor Charlie Crist for the GOP nomination.

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.


Anonymous said...

Rubio has a good shot to go much farther in American politics (i.e. The White House). However, politics is a mine field and you never know what's going to happen. My prayers are with him.

You mentioned Marco being involved in your parish. Rumor has it that Marco also attends a non-denominational "mega-church" in Kendall. I've heard both sides, but it does please me that he's involved in the Catholic Church.

Carlos Espinosa said...

An article came out during the campaign that he was attending a non-denominational church. However, he was involved in my parish up until a couple of years ago. Recently, a friend from St. Louis Catholic Church says he's seen him with his family there regularly. In any event, hopefully, he will carry his Christian values into his policies and political life. He definitely needs our prayers.