First and foremost, politics is about image.
In 2004, a little known, young candidate for Senate in Illinois became a national star. His name is Barack Obama. He gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention that year and his stock took off.
A couple months after the convention, I had a conversation with someone about this young rising star. After hearing Obama’s speech, she said she couldn’t wait for Obama to become president. The conversation took place even before he won his Senate race in Illinois but that is how stars are born.
Back in 2004 (the year they nominated John Kerry), the Democrats needed a star. They found one. He was black, young and idealistic. Once he was put in the spotlight, he nailed it. Four years later he was elected president. That’s why image matters.
Fast forward to 2013. The Republican Party finds itself in a predicament. They are suffering from an image problem. They, too, need a star. Enter Sen. Marco Rubio. He’s going to give the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday night in English and in Spanish. He’s on the cover of “Time” magazine. The Republicans are making Rubio their next star. He’s Latino. He’s young and as one Republican strategist says, “he knows who Tupac is.”
With Rubio, the GOP is hoping to be cool, or at least cooler than they are now. That’s why they need him. They can’t be seen as the party of rich, old white men. They won’t win national elections that way.
Now that Rubio has his turn, how will he deal with the spotlight? Will he handle it as President Obama did, captivating a nation with his oratory skills? Can he explain a conservative vision of America? The vision the Republican Party used to stand for, one of lower spending, smaller government and more freedoms? Can he make that vision cool?
Of course, that remains to be seen. I gave up on the Republican Party because, as a group, they don’t stand up for their own principles. hey haven’t for years. Will Rubio be the one to restore it?
Republicans sure hope so, because if he doesn’t, the future of their party looks bleak.
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier