“The Sunday Political Brunch” -- June 24, 2012

Marco Rubio Wins.jpg

(Providence, Rhode Island) – It looks as if the Vice Presidential picture is becoming clearer for Republicans. Let’s talk about that and other developments this week in politics!

“Rubio’s the Ticket” – I watched an hour-long interview with Senator Marco Rubio (R) Florida the other night and am now firmly convinced he will be Mitt Romney’s running mate in November. The fact that Rubio’s life story is coming out as a book this week convinces me even more. Why write a memoir at Rubio's age if you aren't about to land on the national stage? Rubio’s book, “An American Son,” sounds an awful lot like the books which then Senator Barack Obama (D) Illinois wrote – “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” - books that helped launch his Presidential journey.

“What’s the Appeal?” – The theme of Rubio’s book - as I gather from his interviews - is about the son of Cuban immigrants who came to the U.S. with little more than dreams of freedom and hopes for prosperity. They were lower-class people, driven by a family bond, a strong work ethic, and a belief that formal education would allow their children to prosper. Does that sound familiar? Americans love these stories. While we sometimes elect political royalty with names such as Roosevelt, Kennedy and Bush, we have more often picked people from hardscrabble, pull-yourselves-up-by-your-bootstraps types, like Truman, Reagan, Clinton and Obama. Rubio fits the latter mold, too, and people are going to like him because of it.

“Bookends” – The thing that struck me most about Rubio is his Obama-esque persona. He is charming; he smiles a lot; he’s youthful; and he’s energetic. He’s going to make a connection with a lot of younger voters. He and the 2008 Obama share many of the same traits. Obviously they are bookends of the political spectrum, left and right on your bookshelf, but the similar personal dynamic is very powerful. If the Romney-Rubio ticket fails in 2012, you can expect to see Rubio a strong Presidential contender in 2016.

“Check and Checkmate, Round 2” – Last week I spoke about the game of political chess that was going on. By codifying the so-called "dream act" through executive order, President Obama may have forced Romney’s hand to pick Rubio. My point was that Rubio and the dream act obviously both appeal to the crucial Hispanic voting block. If Romney picks Rubio, what is Obama’s next move in the political chess game? I still say there is a good chance he’ll replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the ticket. The election is nineteen weeks away, and Obama needs a bold, power move. He has to do something to motivate youth voters and to shore up female voter support, too. Keep your eyes on Secretary Clinton.

“It’s the Economy, Stupid! Chapter 92” – I still say that ultimately this election will be decided by the economy. Unemployment nationally is at 8.2 percent and not budging much. Advantage Romney. One bright spot for President Obama is that gas prices are dropping sharply. Remember all the predictions of $4- and $5-a-gallon gas prices for this summer? It never happened. Right now the national average is $3.42 a gallon and dropping, according to AAA. Advantage Obama.

“A Supreme Week Ahead” – This is the final week of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011-12 session. There will be rulings on Arizona’s immigration law and on President Obama’s health care reform law. The outcome of both court cases could have an impact on the 2012 race for the White House. I’ll examine that next Sunday.

As always, please leave your observations, disagreements, questions and opinions by clicking the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

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