Poor Marco Rubio. And how lucky!

Any Cuban grandma worth her weight sighs when she sees him, at the same time exclaiming, “¡Pobrecito! Y mira que bien ha salido”.

[Loosely translated: “poor little one. And look how well he’s turned out.”]

Give the junior senator from Florida credit. It is his gift: a great ability to fabulate, convince others that his story is true, and then turn his tales into dollars. That green U.S. currency he pockets as he begins to concoct his next legend.

Marco Rubio is running for president based on a compelling story. One he repeats every chance he gets. And one that brings out the best from that American public he needs to assure him a seat in the Oval Office.

His is the 21st century version of a Horatio Alger story. Rags to riches through determination and belief in an American system that offers opportunity for anyone willing to work hard for it. And truth be told, and I tip my hat to Marco for this, he’s talented. The American public (the voter) has been gobbling up his story since he was a 20-something, ambitious West Miami council member.

But instead of the protagonist in the Alger stories, Rubio is in fact more 19th century snake oil salesman whose aim so far has been achievement of power (no matter the cost). Later translating that power to money, because the poor guy had little – growing up the son of a bartender and a mother who cleaned hotel rooms. Oh, and lest we forget, he’s had to pay off the huge debt created by going to college and university.

Think about this: Marco Rubio grew up the son of not wealthy parents and had to pay off debts incurred while at school. Now I ask: And what makes him so different?


During the Republican debates we’ve seen Marco tone down his voice, the anti-Trump let’s call him, and point to the other presidential-wanna-be’s and refer to them as wealthy. He sells himself of as the bootstraps story.

What Marco seems to want to ignore, though, is how much money he’s made using his political “juice,” the word used by Marvin O’Quinn, a former Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital chief executive, in a The Washington Post story.

O’Quinn paid Rubio $96,000 a year as a consultant immediately after Rubio finished his stint as Florida’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, probably the second most powerful political job in the state. And as reported by Rosalind S. Helderman, in the same Washington Post story, “In his final year as speaker in 2008, Rubio backed inserting $20 million for Jackson into the state budget – in effect making up for a 2006 decision by then-Gov. Jeb Bush to veto a $20 million line item for the hospital.”

I will let you, the reader, interpret this action anyway you see fit. But allow me to use another part of the same Post story and the interpretation of a member of the hospital’s governing board, Jorge Arrizueta.

[Arrizueta is currently chairman of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign in Miami-Dade.]

“My message was [to Rubio] that, politically, this is crazy,” Arrizurieta said. “It’s been maybe hours since you [Rubio] signed your last bill as speaker and you’re going after the bankrupt public health system that got your help?”

Arrizueta, by the way, later helped Rubio during his successful U.S. Senate bid. A “birds of a feather…” situation, I suppose.

Stories like the Jackson Memorial one are many in Rubio’s history (the real one), but they are the type he’d rather keep in the background. Although the Post, The New York Times and many other press outlets have tried to open the voters’ eyes to the truth.

Allow me to finish my story with one, also from the Washington Post, that had me in stitches:

“Another client, Miami Children’s Hospital, hired Rubio’s firm on a $102,000-a-year contract seeking guidance from a well-known Cuban American on cultural questions, the hospital’s chief executive told an investigator. One example: whether Hispanic customers might prefer an emphasis on diabetes or dentistry.

“‘They’re far more interested in teeth,’ chief executive Narendra Kini recalled Rubio advising the hospital.”

And for Rubio’s apparent knowledge of Hispanic customers’ interest in teeth, he received $102,000 a year. Nice job if you can get it, I guess…

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