Adam Davis, Contributing Writer
“SNL” political skits draw less laughter, 24-hour news feels trivial, and a general feeling of inevitability and relief has descended upon America’s heartland. The 2012 presidential race is officially over.
While a majority of American voters bask in the euphoria of President Obama’s historic re-election, one question remains persistently clear in the wake of post-election festivities: What’s next for the GOP? While the Obama administration is certain to resume its liberal agenda with gusto, Republican leadership has four short years to assess its potential leaders, ensure their credibility and boost their national status.
President Obama is yesterday’s news. Marco Rubio is tomorrow’s.
Republicans can learn quite a lot from President Obama’s victory. First, most Americans were obviously not persuaded by the Republican narrative. The main problem? Mitt Romney. The former governor was clearly a competent speaker and debater, and gained many accolades for his “sterling business career,” as former President Bill Clinton once described it. Fundamentally, however, he could not communicate in a compelling fashion.
This Achilles tendon of the GOP candidate kept challengers in the running for many months and slowed the GOP supporters’ acceptance of their candidate. Mitt Romney’s image problem was not superficial – it was persistent, largely due to his inability to connect with the American people. Ask anyone to describe the former governor, and words like “cold,” “robotic” or “billionaire” will be mentioned first.
The solution for the GOP moving forward is as simple as finding a communicator who can inspire America, whether it be by his own personal story or simply by means of his style of communication. The Republican argument of “lower taxes, lower spending and entitlement reform” is a good argument – it just needs a good arguer. In other words, I do not believe that the GOP will reinvent the wheel for the next election – nor should it – but simply find a leader who can express its values in a better, more persuasive fashion.
Enter Marco Rubio.
For better or worse, modern American presidential candidates must be charismatic, aesthetically pleasing, relatable, goose-bump-inducing, silver-tongued superstars. It’s quite a tall order. Under such conditions, Senator Marco Rubio would have been a more serious competitor against President Obama.
Senator Rubio attended the University of Florida, studied law and began a political ascent culminating in his Senate victory over Floridian political heavyweight Charlie Crist in 2010. Since then, in his distinctly clear and resounding voice, Rubio has sharply vocalized Republican values in high-profile speeches and interviews from the special perspective of a son of an immigrant.
In 1956, Rubio’s parents came to America for economic opportunity; in 1961, after Castro’s revolution destroyed the Cuba of their birth, they made the decision to settle permanently. During his keynote RNC address in 2012, Rubio shared his own reason for his unshakable belief in America:
“My Dad used to tell us: ‘En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos.’ – ‘In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could.’”
“We’re special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, come true here. That’s not just my story. That’s your story. That’s our story.”
Today, Senator Marco Rubio is in a class of his own. He is not the most experienced political leader, but he possesses the key to winning: persuasive power. The GOP’s arguments and solutions will not be thrown by the wayside, but reinvigorated with new life by a communicator who can widen the appeal of his party. Rubio is equipped to win the argument and the ensuing election.
And as our great nation gathers herself for a not-so-distant presidential rematch in 2016, Marco Rubio is bound to be in the mix.