My districts in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives in the '70's and '80's included the City of West Miami. I didn't know him then, but a young man from Cuba, Marco Rubio, was growing up at that time planning to take my House seat in the Legislature some day. He did.
In many ways Rubio is politically very attractive. He is smart with a law degree from the University of Miami. He and his family are very good looking, and his language skills in both English and Spanish are excellent. He has great energy and fits most conservative requirements. Yesterday, he won the Republican nomination to be re-elected to a second term in the U. S. Senate.
But he is politically young and very impetuous. He was still in his 30's when he assumed one of the most important positions in Florida government, The Speaker of the House. His term was riddled with rumors of corruption and a mean spirit toward those who opposed him. His campaign victory over flip flopping Charlie Crist was expected. But his worst attendance record in the Senate was an unforgivable breach of the public trust. After calling his opponent, Donald Trump, a "Con Man," in the Presidential Primaries, Rubio destroyed his credibility by endorsing Trump in the General Election. Now, although credit his veracity in this case, he is saying that he will not promise to even fill out his term of office in the Senate, if re-elected. He is truly a man in too much of a hurry.
I wrote an Op Ed shortly after he was elected to the Senate to politically slow down. As I learned in the Legislature, Rubio should develop an identity with one or two major issues, preferably of importance to Florida. He should develop his craft. His colleagues will respect him and he will become an effective lawmaker.
Obviously, the Senator did not heed my counsel. Too bad. Marco Rubio is a lost opportunity.