TIME Magazine placed Republican Senator Marco Rubio front and center on its latest issue, indicating the Mainstream Media is either warming to the conservative from Florida…or perhaps setting him up for what some are indicating will be an all out media assault to diminish him before 2016.
(Keep your friends close…and your enemies closer – Mainstream Media style…)
EXCERPT: (via TIME)
…But while Rubio is a child of immigrants, he’s also a child of the conservative movement, an ambitious ideologue and former political operative who speaks partisan Republican with the fluency of a native. (Romney, by contrast, spoke it as a second language.) Like Paul Ryan, a potential 2016 rival, he’s part of a new generation of lean and hungry conservatives who grew up in the antigovernment Reagan era and entered politics after the scorched-earth Gingrich revolution. Bipartisan compromise is not usually his thing.
…In his autobiography, An American Son, Rubio says his closest boyhood friend was his cigar-smoking, Fidel Castro–hating grandfather, Pedro Víctor García, a proud Cuban exile who taught him to believe in Reagan, American exceptionalism and himself. Hobbled by childhood polio, more book-smart than business-savvy, Papa never achieved much material success. But he spent hours with his grandson reading Spanish-language newspapers, fulminating about communism and pushing the future Senator to expand his horizons beyond football. “He would scold me for performing poorly in school, but he never let me believe I was incapable of being successful,” Rubio wrote. “His dreams for us were his legacy.”
…Rubio is careful not to oversell immigration reform’s potential to revive the GOP brand: “If anyone is under the illusion that suddenly our percentage of Hispanic voters will double, let me dissuade them of that right now.” But he says many Hispanic Americans are forming their political identity in an era of Big Government and won’t even consider Republican arguments against it. “They’ve bought into the lie the left is putting out there that because we want to enforce immigration laws, we’re not welcoming,” he says. “It’s not true. It’s not fair. But it is what it is.” It’s no accident that Cubans, who enjoy more lenient rules than other immigrants, are more receptive to the GOP—or that non-Cuban Hispanics don’t always consider a Cuban-American politician one of them.
…There’s even a case to be made that Rubio might be a likelier Republican nominee in 2016 if his lily-white party hasn’t addressed its policy problems with Hispanics. What’s not in doubt is his influence. The legislation’s fate in the Republican-controlled House as well as the Senate may depend on Rubio’s blessing. GOP elites often follow his lead on Hispanic issues; the party’s presidential candidates all boycotted a proposed Univision debate after he got into a spat with the network, and Ryan endorsed his immigration principles the day he announced them.
…For now, though, Rubio says he’s content to stay where he is and try to help los pobrecitos secure a better life for their kids, just as his parents did for him. If that ends up helping his career, well, his parents wanted him to chase his dreams. “I’ve always viewed politics the following way: if you do a good job at the job you’re doing, you’ll have opportunities to do other things in the future,” Rubio says. “Maybe things you never envisioned.” LINK
My own (humble) take on the TIME Magazine cover of Marco Rubio?
It is a pre-emptive warning shot to the Rubio camp – the media will look under ever nook and cranny to destroy him should he announce himself as a presidential candidate in 2016 – the very same treatment given to Sarah Palin in 2008. Democrats have long enjoyed significant political success playing the false “Republicans hate immigrants” card in recent elections. They are desperate to either keep that card, or be the visible architects of immigration reform. Marco Rubio is attempting to trump that card with one of his own – and if he enters the presidential race, the media will not easily forget.
The good news is that figures such as Marco Rubio and Rand Paul represent a new and exciting transformation going on within the Republican Party. Men whose formative years took place under the presidency of Ronald Reagan and soon after, the Newt Gingrich-led Republican Congress of the 1990′s. The Democrats on the other hand, as Barack Obama continues his journey to has-been status, is left with a crop of too-long has-beens for their own 2016 roster. The Democratic brand is quickly descending into the old fart party, while the Republicans are now starting to look downright cool.