Perhaps that’s just the path of least resistance in South Florida for a politically ambitious lad?
Rubio reminds me of Matt Dillon’s character in Garry Marshall’s 1984 movie The Flamingo Kid.
Dillon plays a handsome, vaguely Latin working class youth (Hector Elizondo portrays Dillon’s father) who gets a summer job as a cabana boy at a swank private beach club.
Soon he’s the protege of Mr. Brody, a rich car dealer (Richard Crenna), who sees in him a promising car salesman. The kid quickly takes on the values espoused by Mr. Brody.
Similarly, Rubio has been pretty much a wholly owned subsidiary of billionaire Miami auto dealer Norman Braman. This almost inevitably turned Rubio into the cabana boy for the Dade County Likud Party Billionaire Boosters Club. From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:
By Uriel Heilman October 29, 2015 7:15pm
NEW YORK (JTA) – After Marco Rubio’s strong performance in Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate, many Americans are taking a second look at the U.S. senator from Florida. Here are a few things American Jews might want to know about him.
1. Rubio had humble beginnings — and rose quickly
The junior senator was born in Miami in 1971 to Cuban parents who moved to the United States in 1956 and later found work in bartending and housekeeping. After high school, Rubio paid for his first year of college with a football scholarship and then took out student loans. Rubio later repaid $100,000 in student debt out of the $800,000 advance he received for his 2012 book, “An American Son.” (He also sprung for a fishing boat.) While studying law at the University of Miami in the mid-1990s, Rubio interned for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R.-Fla., the first Cuban American elected to Congress and a staunch supporter of Israel. Rubio won election in 2000 to the state legislature, the Florida House of Representatives, and became its youngest-ever speaker in 2005. In 2010, Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating Florida’s governor, Charlie Crist.
Billionaire auto dealership magnate Norman Braman, a past president of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, isn’t just the single-largest backer of Rubio’s presidential campaign. Braman also helped finance the young senator’s legislative agenda, employed Rubio as a lawyer, hired Rubio’s wife (a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader) as a philanthropic adviser, helped fund Rubio’s position as a college instructor and assisted Rubio with his personal finances. In 2010, Braman and Rubio went to Israel together shortly after Rubio’s election to the U.S. Senate.
A Rubio-Sanders race might be interesting in that Sanders is ethnically well-positioned as an old Jew from Brooklyn who was a kibbutznik for awhile in the 1960s to call out Rubio’s neocon extremism.