Marco “Polo” Rubio quite the explorer

078Marco “Polo” Rubio made his announcement for the Presidency recently in Miami.  He said that after months of prayer, he came to the conclusion that he wanted to serve his country which he referred to in the feminine case:  “I have come here tonight to make an announcement on how I can best serve her.”  By the end of the speech, it was still not clear how he would serve her.  He sounded like your typical Republican. He’d repeal and replace Obamacare, with what is anyone’s guess; he’d modernize immigration, how is unclear.  He referenced a Prince album in an attack on the democratic party leadership saying they “put us at a disadvantage by taxing, borrowing and regulating like it’s 1999.” Rubio is said to be a fan of “old school” rap, and as one must know, Prince is anything but old school and rap.  Perhaps he doesn’t like or respect Prince.

His “namesake” Marco Polo, (well it might be) on the other hand, had nothing but admiration for “royalty”, serving in the “court” of Kublai Khan in self-imposed exile from the Holy Roman Empire.  Many Venetians thought Marco Polo made up his Asian travelogues, though he claimed he told nothing but the truth and later was proven to have done just that.  Unlike Polo, Marco Rubio was initially less than truthful about his family story, saying that they had escaped Castro and came to America as exiles.  In his speech, he walked back this story saying his family left Cuba in 1956 to fulfill a dream.  This would have been some 3 years before Castro came to power, so it was not that his poor family was being persecuted, it was more that his family wanted to improve their economic status, a sort of self-imposed exile, just like the many millions of undocumented immigrants who are living in the States today.  So his reference to modernizing immigration policy is intriguing.  Does he mean modernize the fence?  Or does he mean amnesty for all?  Does he mean to continue to modernize Cuba – U.S. relations, as President Obama has started, or does he mean to place more quotas on who can come to the U.S? Does modernize mean a guest worker program or does it mean fast track to citizenship for hard working families like his immigrant parents?

To remind that he is still allied with the Tea Party fringe lest we forget, he bashes students who graduate with debt and degrees that don’t lead to jobs.  And he suggests that parents should have more control over their child’s education. This could mean that he favors homeschooling or more charter schools.  Or it could mean that he’d favor eliminating subjects that are not related to employer needs.  I guess that means anthropology, sociology, the arts and hard sciences are out.  There’s not a big demand for dancers at Fortune 500 companies. Walmart has no plans to hire many geologists. And big oil certainly does not need a bunch of “liberal” climatologists snooping around making trouble.

Like Marco Polo, Marco Rubio is an explorer.  He’s playing around with different messages to see if he can find something that resonates with voters.  Many Italians found Polo interesting, but didn’t fully believe his strange tales. Rubio is searching for a path to appease the right and appeal to the center where Jeb Bush supporters live.  And while he thinks he’s ready for the presidency, this announcement is really nothing more than an exploration.  Young Marco knows deep down that he needs to wait his turn.

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