If you want to see why Democrats feared Marco Rubio so much that they tried to stick a knife in the back of their own candidate to stop him, this video demonstrates just how powerful a figure he will become with a national platform on which to speak. The GOP may not have had a speaker like Rubio since Ronald Reagan, excelling at both the message and the mechanics of oratory — and even Reagan didn’t have this kind of compelling backstory. Rubio reminded listeners of his origins from a people exiled from their birthplace because of their desire for freedom, and the dream of a better life that is a “sacred duty” for this generation to deliver to the next, not to mortgage from the next generation for our own exploitation (via Freedom’s Lighthouse, transcript via Andrew Malcolm):
I know about the unique exceptionalism of our country. Not because I read about it in a book, I’ve seen it through my own eyes. You see, I was raised in a community of exiles, by people who lost their country, people who once had dreams like we do today but had to come to a foreign shore to find them.
For some their dreams were answered here in America, but many others found a new dream. To leave their children with the kinds of opportunities they themselves never had. And that is what we must do as a nation. To fulfill our sacred obligation to leave the next generation of Americans a better America than the one we inherited. And that is what this election was about.
Rubio assured people that the GOP understands its position with the voters, which is a party still on probation from its failures of 2001-6, and that this is a second chance to earn back their trust:
For many of us coming to Washington for the first time and others returning to serve, it’s a long way from home. A long way from the people whose eyes we looked into at town halls, at diners or roundtables, and promised that this time it would be different. That if you elected Republicans to office again, we would not squander the chance you gave us, and we must not.
Because nothing less than the identity of our country and what kind of future we will leave our children is at stake. That is our commitment and from you we ask this. Hold us accountable to the ideas and principles we campaigned on.
This is our second chance to get this right. To make the right decisions and the tough calls and to leave our children what they deserve – the freest and most exceptional society in all of human history.
Rubio is off to a good start already in his new role as Senator Rubio.
Update: Changed the headline – replaced “it” with “2010” for clarity.