Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marco Rubio and the Klieg Lights

Politico Arena Topic: Is Marco Rubio Still VP Material?

Sen. Marco Rubio will be a top contender for a VP slot. He is a Republican young gun who is a darling of the tea party. He is a first-generation American whose parents came from Cuba and Republicans are desperate to make inroads in the Hispanic community - the second largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. Florida is a must-win battleground state and Rubio would give the GOP ticket an edge there. And if Mitt Romney is the nominee, Rubio would add some conservative credibility that Romney lacks.

The big question is: would this freshman senator be ready for the bright lights and hyper-scrutiny of a presidential campaign? After all, he is only 40 and hasn’t spent even a year in the U.S. Senate. The last time a presidential nominee picked a young, inexperienced, firebrand for the number two slot (Palin), it didn’t go so well as a candidate’s shortcomings are quickly exposed during the harsh glare of the klieg lights of the national stage. Rubio’s embellishment of the story of his parents journey from Cuba indicate that he may not be ready for prime time. Thus, the selection of Rubio as a running mate could be stroke of genius or utter disaster.

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