Rubio, O Rubio, wherefore art thou, Rubio?
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Yes, it was hard to believe that Marco Rubio was not being vetted
as a vice presidential possibility by Mitt Romney.
Romney revealed that the Florida senator is under consideration
and claimed that an ABC News report to the contrary was off-base. But today Rubio still isn’t talking.
Rubio has some obvious qualities that would make him an attractive pick. He is a young Latino from a state that Romney needs in his electoral column. At least one recent poll
suggests that a Romney/Rubio ticket would even the playing field in the Sunshine State.
But that dream team ticket is not all that it seems. For several months, Rubio dangled the idea of proposing a conservative alternative
to the DREAM Act,
which would give children of undocumented aliens a pathway to citizenship. Rubio’s plan never saw the light of day. President Obama’s
executive order giving a two-year stay from deportation to people under the age of 30 who were brought to the US illegally as children squashed any thoughts that Republicans may have had of using a Rubio plan as an election year talking point.
The widespread support for the White House executive order
, especially from immigration advocates and Latino civic leaders, means that the Rubio proposal, whatever it was, will only be a dim memory for the Latino voters that Romney is trying desperately to court. Another poll
of Latino voters in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia, and yes, Florida, found that 49 percent of those surveyed said the decision made it more likely for them to support the president.
There’s more bad news in the Electoral College. The Latino vote in key states such as Texas is growing and is trending Democratic
, a big problem for the Republicans this year and going forward. Yet Team Romney seems to have bought into at least one component of what Washington Post
reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia calls the “ five myths
” about Rubio: that his presence on the GOP ticket would attract Latino voters.
Cuban Americans like Rubio have tended not to view immigration issues as, say, Mexican Americans do. Roig-Franzia writes: “There are also lingering historical resentments between non-Cuban Latinos — approximately 96 percent of the U.S. Latino population — and Cubans, who receive preferential immigration treatment. Rubio has drawn a distinction, saying that he has ‘nothing against immigrants, but my parents are exiles.’”
His current and future national prospects have prodded Rubio to soften his image. Consider this excerpt
from his conveniently timed autobiography-cum-campaign manifesto: "If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn't give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn't a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here." Some commentators suspect that Rubio may be nudging Romney to speak louder
on immigration issues that he seems inclined to shy away from.
Speaking up about immigration won’t necessarily help Mitt Romney, however. He doesn’t support the DREAM Act, likes Arizona’s tough immigration laws (as does Rubio), and has talked about supporting harsher legislation that would force people to “self deport.” Latino voters, and others who are concerned about a hardening of US immigration policies, are unlikely to forget any of that just because someone like Marco Rubio is on the Republican ticket. --GABRIELLE GURLEY BEACON HILL
The Massachusetts Senate approves a T bailout
, WBUR reports.
The state Office of Campaign and Political Finance asks Attorney General Martha Coakley to force Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua
to file campaign forms, the Eagle-Tribune reports.MUNICIPAL MATTERS
police sergeant who is also a selectman is seeking a restraining order and criminal complaint against the town administrator
who she says has made several threats against her. The administrator has been placed on leave as well.Westport
voters rejected all five ballot questions
that would have level-funded the town budget as well as upgrade some outdated services and equipment.NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTONTitle IX
at 40: Frank Deford
offers his take
. CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan
did his own local analysis in the fall 2010 issue found here
The overrated Cory Booker
?ELECTION 2012Greater Boston has a discussion of the pros and cons
for Sen. Scott Brown
of turning down the debate at the Kennedy Institute
after Vicki Kennedy
refuses to commit to stay neutral in the race. The Phoenix
’s David Bernstein floats the theory
that Brown’s anti-Kennedy posturing is a play for conservative Catholic votes. Scot Lehigh scores
icki Kennedy-Scotto bout for the senator.
looks at Mitt Romney
to put Michigan
in play. US Weekly reports
that Mitt and Brit have the same car elevator.
The Globe looks back
at his higher ed initiatives as governor, which didn’t get too far.
campaign takes a run
at Karl Rove
’s Crossroads GPS
, a nonprofit advocacy group that can accept unlimited contributions without disclosing its donors. BUSINESS/ECONOMY
A study by the Wharton School
found women at financial firms earn two-thirds of what their male colleagues make
in large part because they are given inferior accounts.EDUCATION
Mum’s the word at Roxbury Community College
, where the departing president, Terrence Gomes
, and the school’s board of trustees have signed non-disclosure agreements
that bar them from speaking ill of one another.
The state’s Teacher of the Year explains
why a strict seniority system isn’t best for schools -- or teachers.
A teacher at Andover High School
urges her colleagues to stall on the school’s accreditation until the teachers union gets a new contract, the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Some Hingham parents are upset that school officials have hired a lawyer from the Boston Public Schools
to oversee the town’s special education
Both the House
and the governor’s office are in favor of lifting the ban on gifts to physicians
from pharmaceutical companies because of its impact on the economy but the Senate
has shown no interest in joining.ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT
The former Gov. Oliver Ames
estate in Easton will become a public park after the town purchased the property
from trustees with funds from the Community Preservation
account and state money.Cape Wind
a federal investigation into what they’re calling state and federal bullying of the FAA
. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
A Methuen DPW worker
is arrested for selling oxycontin from his truck, the Eagle-Tribune reports
.Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
says he is moving ahead with plans to shut down several prisons, the Chicago Tribune reports
rocks the New Yorker
, the Daily Beast reports.Recovers.org
, the Knight News Challenge winner, is profiled
by the Nieman Journalism Lab