Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Florida Speaker of the House Marco Rubio announces US Senate run

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Southeast Broward Republican Club, where Florida Speaker of the House (R) Marco Rubio announced his intention to run for the US Senate seat vacated by RINO Mel Martinez.

I've been cautiously optimistic about the young, dynamic and unabashedly conservative Rubio, though critics have denounced what they deem his tepid stance on illegal immigration. Having heard Rubio speak before at a Republican women's event last fall, and on Lisa Macci's Justice Hour radio program, I'll admit I was still a bit skeptical, though positively impressed by his unapologetic championing of strong families for a strong society; sanctity of life issues; national security and defense; limited government; and free-market principles.

Last evening however, Rubio delved more deeply into the immigration issue, affirming his opposition to amnesty and support for securing the borders. He also made a valid point concerning the issue of people who initially come to the USA legally, and then overstay their VISAs -- a problem with many of the 9/11 hijackers. Additionally, he had a few disdainful observations about the so-called "listening tour," and stressed the need for Republican leadership to get back to the business of articulating conservatism.

Possessing the necessary combination of substance and style, Rubio is a young (38 years-old), handsome and engaging orator, which definitely gives him an advantage over his opponents. Whether he can prevail remains to be seen, but I look forward to watching this race unfold as the months go by. And let's face it: the GOP desperately needs an infusion of fresh, young talent.

Speaking of which, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer kudos to Club President Eddie Napolitano -- one of the most passionate conservative voices in South Florida -- and his lovely wife Stacy, both of whom put in countless hours and much of their own money into running this organization. God knows, Broward needs all the help it can get; Eddie and Stacy are single-handedly turning the county around, one mind at a time. A US Military veteran, Napolitano also founded the "Welcome Home Warrior" project, an effort that ensures returning soldiers are greeted at the airport by an enthusiastic crowd.

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