Is Marco Rubio the Hope of the GOP?
Just not for the 2012 elections, and maybe not even 2016.
Rubio likely won't be on the ticket. Blame it on the
And that isn't a bad thing. Not for Rubio, the
At 41, Rubio is a tad young to be writing of his life, a point he concedes. Much of the book concerns his early influences and the struggles of his Cuban immigrant parents and grandparents to assimilate in America, a classic story.
Although he might be a darling of the tea party faction, Rubio's background prepped him to be a moderate, a politician able to understand a wide range of opinions and experiences.
For example, he did not grow up exclusively among family in
Rubio attended his first year of college on a football scholarship in a rural
And it was a teenaged Rubio who called his own father a scab for breaking a union strike. Yes, that's right.
Without a formal education, his father struggled periodically to find work. He tried and failed at many small businesses and spent much of his life as a bartender. When the family lived in Vegas, Rubio's father was a member of a union, one that went on strike.
He writes of knowing that his father was forced to accept lower pay and fewer benefits. And of knowing that it was the workers who made the hotel its profits, without fairly sharing in them. Things got so bad for the Rubios during the strike that they accepted government surplus cheese and peanut butter from the union hall.
Elsewhere in the memoir, Rubio reveals that his brother-in-law served time on drug charges, leaving his parents to help raise grandchildren when they were in their early 70s. Rubio gratefully and repeatedly acknowledges his relative privilege, the strength of his family and his father's selflessness. He knows that other young people suffered more than he because they didn't have such bonds.
Rubio was initially drawn to Democrats during then-Sen.
Years later, Rubio's immersion into the nitty-gritty of politics would come campaigning for
Children of immigrants often fulfill not only their own ambitions, but also carry the dashed aspirations of others before them. When a parent has risked everything -- livelihood, social status and ties to home and family -- to emigrate, who are you as the offspring to screw up the opportunities of America?
Hence, the book's title: "An American Son."
Rubio's challenge as a politician will be to draw strength and inspiration from his family's passage to America to unite his fellow citizens for the common good, rather than to serve only factional interests, as his party currently is so bent on doing.
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Is Marco Rubio the Hope of the GOP? | Politics
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