Monday, November 8, 2010

A Rubio Slipper

Senator-elect Marco Rubio of Florida is already slipping in and out of his Tea Party guise and has gone from his victory speech announcing that last Tuesday's vote was not a victory for the GOP to this week where he reveals he's just another Senator with an (R) after his name.

Rubio has already made it clear that he will not be a rogue senator. One day after the election, he declared his support for the GOP establishment when he said he looked forward to serving under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. He didn't mention Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, viewed as the more ideologically pure conservative and alternative power center, who championed Rubio's campaign early on.

Two days later, McConnell tapped Rubio to deliver the weekly GOP address.

Rubio, 39, struck a pragmatic tone at the post-election news conference held in Miami, saying Republicans and Democrats have to work together to tackle big, immediate problems like the national debt and the war in Afghanistan. He did not launch salvos at President Barack Obama, as he usually does, and said he would reach out to Florida's Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

``Early on in the primary, a conservative group of passionate, well-intentioned people coincided with his beliefs and somehow he got this tea party label, which I don't think is totally representative,'' said Republican fundraiser Jorge Arrizurieta.

``Did he embrace and receive the support of the tea party? Absolutely,'' Arrizurieta said. ``But will he move away from being a real Republican candidate? No way.''

As mistermix at Balloon Juice points out, 

He got the Tea Party label by accepting Tea Party endorsements and telling Tea Party members that he looks forward to going to Washington and fighting for them:

Funny how that works.  Marco Rubio?  Tea Party poster boy?  Not me.  And you're going to see more and more GOP folks dump the Tea Party like a bad date, especially in the chummy Senate.

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