Is Marco Rubio The Republicans’ Barak Obama?



Rubio and Obama

The presidential campaigns of Senator Rubio (left) and President Obama (right) are frequently compared.

Since early spring,  comparisons have been made between U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a current Republican (GOP)  presidential nominee hopeful, and President Barak Obama when he ran for the democratic presidential nomination in 2008. To view Rubio’s run for the presidency in light of Obama’s run proves to be interesting, revealing, and even fascinating.

Some of the similarities cited are: Both Senator Rubio and President  Obama decided to run  for president at a relative young age, in their mid 40’s, and while still in their freshman year as U.S. Senators—hence, both were quite inexperienced and short on accomplishments when they announced their candidacy. Like Obama, Rubio is considered to be a charismatic and skilled orator and a uniquely gifted politician.  Both men possess an impressive knowledge of international affairs and cultures around the world. Both are members of minority ethnic groups. Obama was considered a long shot against Hillary Clinton, who was the wife of a former president and whose campaign was much better funded than Obama’s. Rubio is likewise considered a long shot against well-financed Jeb Bush, the brother of a former president and the son of a  former president. The campaign of Rubio, as Obama’s did, follows the two-term controversial presidency of a person from the opposing party. Rubio used language in his presidential campaign kickoff speech that sounded much like the language Obama used in his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that launched him into the national spotlight.  So, largely influenced by his oratorical skills, there has been an impressive surge in Rubio’s popularity and hopes for the presidency, just as occurred with Obama.

Barak Obama and Marco Rubio contrast in several ways, primarily in their positions on political issues. However, history  shows that  Americans tend to elect as president the candidate whose stand on key issues strongly contrasts with those of the outgoing chief executive. Other differences between the two might prove to be disadvantageous for Rubio. For example, Obama enjoyed overwhelming support from his ethnic group, African-Americans. Contrarily, Rubio’s ethnic group, Hispanics, traditionally vote heavily Democratic and might not be an important force in the Republican runoff.  Moreover, Jeb Bush, whose wife is Hispanic and who himself speaks fluent Spanish, may lay claim to the vote of many of those Hispanics who are Republicans.

In 2008, Obama had the possibility of a “history making” event on his side: the   possibility of electing the first African-American U.S. President. This factor surely attracted a large number of white liberal and young adult voters to Obama, and Obama received practically all of the African-American vote. It is to be seen whether a similar wave of excitement in the candidacy of Rubio, a person of Hispanic heritage, emerges.

At this juncture in the political process, one can only ponder the meaning of these similarities and differences and how they will impact the outcome of the 2016 election. Will Rubio become the GOP nominee and go on to successfully capture the Office of President? Only time will tell;   nevertheless, the drama of possibility is certainly intriguing.

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