‘Marco Rubio easily won election,” I’ve read. Marco Rubio was a handpicked Republican-establishment candidate adopted by the tea party, I’ve heard. Marco Rubio did, in fact, win an impressive 49 percent of Florida voters in the three-way Senate race. But that was a hard-won victory. The truth is, of course, that Marco Rubio was not the Republican establishment pick.
Back in the cold winter of 2009, Washington Republican after Washington Republican shrugged their shoulders and stated what they had decided was a fact: Governor Charlie Crist was the inevitable Republican nominee. Inevitable was the word, used again and again. Marco Rubio would be great, but maybe some other time. Regardless, we put him on the cover of National Review a whole year before the Republican primary there and said, “Yes He Can.” And so he did.
But it was a long, ugly fight. One in which, in the primary, Rubio’s resources — going it alone, without Republican-party support — did not compare to Crist’s (it was Crist who was the establishment pick). Marco Rubio won because he earned it. In online fundraising — with a little help from an inspiring YouTube — and old-fashioned hard work. He eventually made the establishment choose him. Thankfully.
And despite the rewriting of history we’ve seen and heard in recent days, someone in Miami remembered how it really went down. This appeared in the New York Times this week, an image from Rubio’s victory party last Tuesday night:
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