Rubio is the new Obama

The president also described himself as a “goof off”, and someone who was not particularly motivated to do well in school at first, until later on when he entered Occidental College, and eventually transferred to Columbia.

In February of 2007, a young Senator from Chicago of mixed black and white descent created a frenzy when he announced his candidacy for the United States presidency in Springfield, Illinois.  The underdog candidate struggled early on in the Democratic primaries, but quickly rose to defeat the heavily favored Clinton powerhouse and earn himself the Democratic nomination on the message of hope and change—hope for a better tomorrow, and change from the foreign and economic shortcomings of President George W. Bush.

Then Senator Obama of Illinois gained much fame and admiration when he delivered the keynote address of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, in support of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. His speech inspired us all. It was an optimistic message to remind America that, despite political, ideological, and religious differences, we are all strongest when we stand united. He stole the show—even from candidate Kerry himself, who was supposed to be the man of the hour. It left many Americans thinking Wow, who is this man?

Obama is arguably the “coolest” president we have ever had.  If you eliminate his dreadful first pitches at baseball games with awful throwing-form, along with his occasional sporting of mom jeans, this assertion is tough to argue.

Fast forward to 2016 and President Obama is closing in on his final year as commander in chief in what many would call an average, yet historic, presidency. 2016 now has the potential to boast yet another historic presidency with the rise of young GOP star Marco Rubio.

What Barack Obama was to the left in 2008 is what Marco Rubio is to the right today. Currently, Rubio is 44 years of age. Obama was 46 when he launched his campaign back in 2007. Obama’s youth appealed to young voters during his ’08 crusade, and it will likely help Rubio in the next few months. Unfortunately, youth entails inexperience. Obama was a one-term US Senator back when he ran, and had virtually no major accomplishments during his tenure in the US senate. First-term Florida Senator Rubio is similarly unaccomplished—just ask conservative hero Rick Santorum.

Obama is arguably the “coolest” president we have ever had.  If you eliminate his dreadful first pitches at baseball games with awful throwing-form, along with his occasional sporting of mom jeans, this assertion is tough to argue.  He has a deep passion for sports, especially basketball. He transformed the traditional white house outdoor tennis court into a basketball court when he took office, where he has since “made it rain.” He is an avid fan of the White Sox and Bulls. Obama has a youthful taste in music as well, as a listener of hip-hop and mainstream pop. In a recent YouTube interview with “Swoozie”, he claimed to like Kendrick Lamar more than Drake without any hesitation. (Possible American bias here?) And whether you voted for him or not, you cannot help but appreciate his sincerity when speaking personally to voters.  

Rubio was also quite the athlete. He earned a scholarship to play football at Tarko College in Missouri in 1989 after being a star athlete in his high school. Today, he coaches his son’s youth football team in Miami.  An ardent Miami Dolphins fan, his wife and sister were once Dolphins cheerleaders.  His dream job was to become an NFL star. In terms of musical taste, Rubio also loves hip hop and some pop. Advisers have reportedly stated that he “cherishes” his Tupac albums, and will come to the defense of Tupac in any Biggie vs. Tupac, east coast vs. west coast debate.

Moreover, Rubio and Obama have not been shy about their problematic decision making during their teenage years. In high school, Obama admitted to smoking pot, drinking alcohol, and occasionally snorting cocaine. The president also described himself as a “goof off”, and someone who was not particularly motivated to do well in school at first, until later on when he entered Occidental College, and eventually transferred to Columbia.

Rubio will likely be the same way if elected president, though his memorization skills may be stronger than Obama’s. In an effort to help Rubio, maybe his teleprompter will flash a red light whenever he repeats a line. He may need some shades for this.

Rubio was similar in this regard. During his high school days, he loved to booze. Friend activities included sneaking out of school to drink at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL. Academically, he too was not the sharpest tool in the shed. Rubio says he finished his senior year with an ailing 2.1 GPA. At a recent South Carolina town hall, he even went as far as admitting to getting caught by police while underage drinking at a park with friends. Luckily, he was pardoned with a mere warning. After a year of football, a neck injury prevented him from advancing in athletics and he returned home. He would later go on to transfer to Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, and finally, the University of Florida. Both he and Obama reconstructed their academic careers completely, eventually earning law degrees at the University of Miami and Harvard, respectively.

Both these young man’s speaking abilities are known to be somewhat insincere, though there is no doubt that Obama’s delivery and skill is much stronger and more captivating to audiences. The president is a charismatic orator who makes great use of his teleprompter. Whenever it fails, so does he. Similarly, Rubio has so far proved himself to also become overly dependent on outside sources for campaign speeches and discussions—a symptom of severe inexperience and perhaps even incompetence. Obama rarely goes impromptu while giving a speech and hardly did during his two presidential campaigns. Rubio will likely be the same way if elected president, though his memorization skills may be stronger than Obama’s. In an effort to help Rubio, maybe his teleprompter will flash a red light whenever he repeats a line. He may need some shades for this.

Senator Rubio faces a long and tough road ahead. This underdog must find a way to overcome a potent Donald Trump. For much of the 2008 campaign trail, Obama was seen as the underdog to the preferred Hillary Clinton. And if Hillary gets the nomination, which she likely will (sorry Bernie fans, money and power wins elections), Rubio will have the same uphill battle Obama did in 2008. Perhaps Rubio’s greatest asset in this matchup is his inexperience, making it difficult to pinpoint career mistakes. 2008 Hillary Clinton had trouble finding flaws in Obama’s short political career, making it hard for Clinton to put a damper on Obama’s resolute campaign momentum. On the flip side, with the Clinton name being in politics for a long time, it was easy for Obama to pick his spots and exploit Clinton’s flaws. 2016 Rubio will be wise to use this strategy if he hopes to make it a contest in the general election against Hillary.

President Obama made history in 2008 by being the first person of African descent to win the United States presidency. Rubio would become the first person of Latino descent to do so. Youth, charm, and charisma were some of Obama’s greatest assets during his two campaigns. Rubio shares these characteristics, and you know damn well that voters will see this as an advantage over an older, more experienced candidate he will be up against in the general election. Only time and voters will determine whether or not this opinion becomes a reality.

(Visited 239 times, 1 visits today)

About Tony Saucedo

Tony is a Sophomore. He can be reached at masauced@umich.edu.