I have a lot of readers in Florida. Many of them are personal friends. This article is primarily for my Sunshine State readers, but there are similar opportunities in many other states. Let’s explore.
Florida is a swing state in almost every sense of that political term. With less than 2 weeks to Election Day I am still not willing to predict whether Clinton or Trump will take its 29 electoral votes. (If Clinton wins Florida she wins the election. Trump must win it or he has no path to 270. Clinton can lose it and still win the election.)
Florida is to a great degree three separate states when it comes to voting. The Panhandle and northern part of the state are basically an extension of Alabama. The I-4 Corridor which runs from the Tampa Bay area to Daytona Beach via Orlando is the swing part of the state. It has the most transplants many of whom brought their political philosophy and voting habits with them. The Miami metropolitan area dominates the remainder of the state. It is becoming increasingly interesting because of the generational split in its large Cuban-American community. The older generation is solidly Republican because of their hatred of the Castro brothers and Communism. The younger people are more likely to vote for a Party or candidate that wants to open commerce with Cuba because they want a piece of that potential market.
Enough about Florida’s demographic politics; let me get to my real subject: the 2016 Senate race in Florida.
After some twists, turns and a major fake the race has come down to Democratic Challenger Representative Patrick Murphy and Republican incumbent Senator Marco Rubio. In a snapshot, Murphy is not a progressive’s dream candidate but Rubio has been a terrible Senator for both Florida and America along with being the kind of politician that gives that term its negative connotation.
Rubio is one of those office holders who seem to have stayed one step ahead of the law during his entire career. There were several controversies surrounding his financial actions when he was in the Florida Legislature when he fled for the higher ground of the United States Senate. That was back in the 2010 Tea Party wave election. If any loyal Republicans are reading today, you may remember that Rubio was not the establishment pick and won the Republican primary as the Tea Party’s choice. At the risk of repeating myself; Rubio revealed the only three things he cares about: Marco Rubio, Marco Rubio and Marco Rubio as soon as he got to Washington by abandoning the Tea Party that he rode to DC.
At one point he looked like a rising star when he championed comprehensive immigration reform only to eventually vote against his own bill when he thought it would help his presidential ambitions. Let’s look at that presidential run and what it reveals about Rubio’s character (or lack thereof to be more accurate). When Rubio announced his candidacy for the presidency he stated that he would not defend his Senate seat; he was all in for the big job. He basically stopped showing up in the Senate and sports the worst voting/attendance record in the upper chamber. The word was out that Rubio really didn’t like being a Senator.
Despite being a media darling, Rubio’s campaign never really went anywhere. On the debate stage he was proved to be unprepared and rather dimwitted. When called out for answering every question with the same small handful of canned lines he repeatedly responded with those same canned lines. Soon after he was trounced in the Florida Republican Presidential Primary – keep in mind he is a sitting Senator in Florida at that time – he dropped out of the race. Shortly thereafter he announced he was going to defend his Senate seat.
Rubio’s “relationship” with Donald Trump during the primary was less than pleasant to say the least. Trump referred to Rubio as Little Marco and repeatedly mocked him. On more than one occasion Rubio questioned Trump’s fitness to be Commander-in Chief. Repeatedly Rubio distanced himself from or criticized Trump’s words and actions. Despite all that Rubio has not denounced Trump or declared that he will not vote for him. The answer is simple: Rubio feels he needs Trump’s extremist backers support to keep his current day job.
If Floridians reelect Rubio he will continue to act in a manner that he feels will put him in the best position for another presidential run in 2020. That means he will be one of the chief obstructionists. His goal will be to make Hillary Clinton look as if she is incapable of getting anything done in Washington. If he hurts his state and his country in the process he simply does not care.
This race goes well beyond flipping the handful of Senate seats the Democrats need in order to take control of the Senate. In this case perhaps we can end Rubio’s political career and we certainly make America an even better place.
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