Marco Rubio

The big question left hanging after the one-day storm over Marco Rubio's embellishments of his parents' departure from Cuba to Florida was whether the revelations would have any lingering impact on his chances for being the GOP vice presidential pick next summer. Well, we can safely say that Rubio has avoided much damage from the storm if we keep seeing the revelations framed like this: Then last week, the senator sparred with news organizations over reports suggesting Mr. Rubio had embellished the story of his family's emigration from Cuba.

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Marco Rubio just put out a sharply-worded rebuttal to today's talker, the Washington Post's disclosure that the senator's parents left Cuba for Florida in 1956, two and a half years before Fidel Castro seized power -- contradicting Rubio, who often left the impression (including on his own Web site) that they were part of the wave of exiles that fled Castro. In his rebuttal for Politico ("exclusive!"), Rubio writes: If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that.

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From my latest article in TNR's print edition: Nobody knows whether the Republican presidential nominee will be Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, or one of the other contenders. But virtually everybody who follows politics seems confident of one thing: The eventual nominee’s running mate will be Marco Rubio, the first-term senator from Florida. It’s not just because he’s charismatic or eloquent—although he is both of those things. It’s also because Rubio’s Hispanic. And the ability to lure that traditionally Democratic constituency away from President Obama is tantalizing for Republicans.

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When Rick Perry lays down his head on Saturday night, he’s going to be one tired Texan. By then, the consensus GOP front-runner will have endured a 48-hour gauntlet of events in Orlando, Florida, including a televised presidential candidates’ debate, an ideological beauty contest sponsored by the American Conservative Union, and a state party straw poll. Moreover, all this is occurring in a state that will hold a crucially timed 2012 primary, is considered a must-win for Republicans in the general election, and has demographic characteristics that could pose a real challenge to Perry.

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Popularity Contest

Nobody knows whether the Republican presidential nominee will be Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, or one of the other contenders. But virtually everybody who follows politics seems confident of one thing: The eventual nominee’s running mate will be Marco Rubio, the first-term senator from Florida. It’s not just because he’s charismatic or eloquent—although he is both of those things. It’s also because Rubio’s Hispanic. And the ability to lure that traditionally Democratic constituency away from President Obama is tantalizing for Republicans.

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I was not in the room for Marco Rubio's address at the Reagan Library last night, but having read the text, I came away with a different reaction than T.A. Frank, who wrote a dispatch for us. Tom came away impressed with rhetoric like this: There were moments when he dared to offer a gram of risky honesty and an ounce of real ideas. On the honesty part, for example, he admitted, obliquely, that George W. Bush had raided the nation’s piggy bank and subsequently beaten the piggy to death. “I know that it's popular in my party to blame the president, the current president," Rubio said.

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I saw him last night. I saw Senator Marco Rubio in person as he delivered a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library outside of Los Angeles. I saw Marco Rubio catch Nancy Reagan as she stumbled.

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Marco Rubio, the near-certain Republican vice-presidential nominee, delivered a speech that is yet another signpost in his party's rightward lurch. During the 1980s and 1990s, the thrust of mainstream conservatism held that American government started veering off course in the 1960s with welfare and the counterculture.

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Day 1 The giant, disembodied heads of Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley glared down at me; they knew I was up to no good. It was the opening banquet of the National Conservative Student Conference, and I couldn’t even find a seat. I wandered through the crowd at the Hyatt Regency: flags, blue mood lighting, white tablecloths, white people, and bowties.

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Grover Norquist is always filled with triumphalist theories, and his book elucidates one favorite Norquist claim, that shrinking revenue will turn the Democratic coalition (the "Takings Coalition") against itself in a cannibalistic orgy: The Takings Coalition can hold together as long as there is more money flowing into the state to finance the demands of each constituent group.

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