Marco Rubio is taking centre stage as the Republican Party desperately tries to find a new leader who will not leave them a laughing stock at the next election. It is almost 100 days since the re-election of President Barack Obama and in that time the Florida senator has made a series of concrete and calculated moves to come out as the obvious choice for a new generation of leader for a party that appears to be rudderless and in disarray.
The bilingual Cuban-American lawmaker has made strides to take the conservative movement into the 21st century and possibly even position himself for a run at the Presidency, becoming the Republican Party’s point person on the thorny issue of immigration while also pitching economic solutions for middle class workers. Rubio has become an evangelist for a more inclusive and modern party that welcomes minorities and Hispanics, the demographic that helped Obama to re-election victory last year.
“In a way, he’s trying to save us from ourselves,” says the American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas, who actually gave Rubio his very first job in politics as a field staffer in South Florida during Kansas Senator Bob Dole’s presidential campaign back in 1996. “He gives us comfort against the naysayers who say we need to change our basic beliefs to attract a wider audience.”
Rubio has been promoting upward mobility policies and counseling his peers in the Republican Party to renew their pitch to immigrants and minorities.