In today's style of bombastic magazine covers, "Time" proclaimed Marco Rubio as "The Republican Savior." The subhead reads "How Marco Rubio became the new voice of the GOP."
As the 24/7 pundits babble in the background -- complete with a State of the Union speech countdown clock -- I wonder how a party that seems clueless to the real world can even find a "savior." How does a party switch from Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin's nineteenth century edicts on women and Mitt Romney's entitlement club to relevance in four months?
I might say, "Poor Rubio" with all the sarcasm and intonation of the late Ann Richards referring to Bush the Elder at the 1988 Democratic convention. But, seriously, poor Rubio to have this curse as "savior" with a lower case "s."
Rubio, a member of the Roman Catholic faith, tweeted February 7, "There is only one savior, and it is not me. #Jesus."
Here's a slice of what "Time" said about the Cuban-American, who is 41 and grew up in an immigrant neighborhood in Miami, one of four children born to Cuban-American immigrants.
"Now just two years after he arrived in Washington, the charismatic conservative often hailed as the Tea Party's answer to Barack Obama has emerged as the most influential voice in the national debate over immigration reform. He's also the key player in his party's efforts to make up to Hispanic voters after a disastrous 2012 campaign featuring Republican candidates who proposed electric fences and alligators along the southern border, as well as Mitt Romney's suggestion of 'self-deportation'."
Seems everyone wants to weigh in on Rubio's future. Trolling the cloud this morning I found the following stories:
"Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough held the "Time" cover in his hands and suggested that Rubio might fall prey to the "Sports Illustrated jinx" (an urban legend that teams/players who appear on the SI cover will experience bad luck.)
But all eyes will be on Rubio tonight as he delivers the Republican response to the State of the Union, reportedly in Spanish and in English. One has to wonder if Bobby Jindal will be watching or will he be celebrating Mardi Gras in his home state of Louisiana? Jindal is famous for his Republican response in 2009 when he opened with a strange, over-the-top uncomfortable demeanor and went downhill from there.
If it wasn't so damned serious and important, I would say it all makes for great television. But this isn't "Who shot JR?" this is the future of our country.
I used to be a Republican. I converted a long time ago; I deserted during the Reagan Revolution. When I saw the whites of their eyes (as the whites of their skin), I couldn't stay and be a part of the Moral Majority.
While in limbo, I volunteered at Hoosiers for John Anderson. By the time the 1984 election rolled around, I lived in a blue part of Florida and voted for Walter Mondale.
Yet, I've watched the Grand Old Party, the party of my grandparents, change and evolve even as I oppose most of what it represents.
Until Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh figure this all out, I'm not putting my money on Marco Rubio. If he's the darling of the Tea Party, then why is the Tea Party having its own response after Rubio? And why is the media legitimizing the Tea Party by offering television time for the third year in a row? And when Michelle Bachmann watches the responses, will she look directly at the television?
Stay tuned. As Bette Davis as Margo Channing said in "All About Eve," "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."