Senator-elect Marco Rubio of Florida is, obviously, a rising star in the Republican party, as a result of his win over Governor Charlie Crist and Congressman Kendrick Meek last week, winning more votes than the two of them combined!
The son of Cuban exiles, Rubio is telegenic, well spoken, and a fierce advocate of the Tea Party message of less government, lower taxes, and lower spending, but he was careful not to associate too closely with the Tea Party during the campaign, although he has made clear that the Republican party must change its habits of the past on spending under President George W. Bush, if it is to retain the House of Representatives and win the Senate and the Presidency in 2012!
Rubio served in the state legislature for eight years, and was the House Speaker in 2007-2008, and surprised everyone when he challenged Governor Crist for the Senate nomination this year, and came from way behind, forcing Crist to leave the party and run as an Independent, but still failing to overcome Rubio!
Not yet 40 years of age until May 28 of next year, Rubio is already being considered a possible Vice Presidential candidate for the Republicans in 2012, and in some circles, even as a potential Presidential candidate!
His appeal would be to Hispanics all across the political spectrum, plus Tea Party Movement followers, and social conservatives, and his youth could also appeal to younger voters!
While he is anathema to Democrats and progressives, for them to ignore the potential of Rubio as an opponent would be foolhardy, as it is clear that as a senator from the fourth largest state, he will play a significant role in the future of the Republican party, Florida, and the nation as a whole!