In the Mailbox Today…by Chris Byrne
Marco Rubios new bio/memoir “An American Son”
Full disclosure, his publisher sent me a review copy (as they did to a number of conservative and libertarian bloggers). I’ll be reading it and posting a review shortly. The book will be publicly available starting tomorrow, and can be pre-ordered from Amazon now (links below).
For those who don’t know, Rubio is the junior senator from Florida, and former speaker of the Florida house (a post he held after only 6 years in the statehouse, having been elected at the age of 29, and elected speaker at only 35). One of the youngest senators at only 41, Rubio is the son of cuban immigrants, a devout catholic, and a solid conservative of the tea party persuasion.
For my own tastes… Rubio is great on economics, generally great on business, great on foreign policy, good on guns (not quite great, but a B+ is good enough for a senator), not so great on personal freedom.
My one big issue with Rubio is that he’s VERY socially conservative, and largely religiously based in that regard. As a philosophical libertarian who happens to be a Republican… I’m not thrilled with folks who think the government should be involved in these areas at all, never mind supporting extension of the governments current reach. Also, specifically, he supports constitutional amendments on social and moral issues… something I STRONGLY oppose.
Other than that though… hey, I like the guy.
Rubio was elected by a 20 point margin of victory over his nearest competitor… and that’s a hell of a story…
His nearest competitor was then sitting Republican governor Charlie Crist; who Rubio first beat in the states Republican primary, largely as a result of Tea Party voters.
Rather than drop out however, Crist decided to run as an independent against Rubio in the general election. This was largely taken poorly by both Tea Party oriented voters, and the majority of the states Republican base. Crist’s strategy was to use his popularity among independents, and centrist republicans and democrats, plus his seeming rebellion against the party and particularly “against the radical right and the Tea Party”, to build a “moderate” coalition for victory.
That strategy backfired BADLY.
Rubio earned 48.9% of the vote, to Crist’s 29.7%… with the democratic competitor Kendrick Meek, coming in a distant third with 20.2% (basically he was a sacrificial lamb, and only the hardcore dems voted for him, with about half the democrats voting for Crist).
This made Rubio the poster boy for the “Tea Party Revolution” of 2010 that the media played up so much, and for a time made him the target of speculation about him pulling a Republican version of the Obama play, and running for president in 2012.
Rubio was very clear that he had no intention of seeking either the presidential or vice presidential nomination in 2012… However, Romneys problems with the conservative and libertarian portions of the Republican and independent electorate, have got speculation among the media running high that Rubio will be chosen as Romneys running mate.
My personal opinion, is that Rubio doesn’t want to be vice president in 2012; he wants to be president in 2016 or 2020 (and he’ll be much more “electable” then, simply by getting to look more like what the electorate expects a president to look like… i.e. “Older than 41″)… but it’s a lot easier to get to the big chair from the little chair, than it is from the senate floor, and somehow, I don’t think he’ll say no if he’s asked. \
As to what this book, being released now, might mean?
I stand behind my previous statement.
At any rate, look for a review in this space in the next few days. In the meantime, here’s the links to buy the book, and for Rubios tour events:
Rubio’s book tour:
Rubios Twitter feed: