More important, he is one of a crop of young leaders who are first-generation Americans, sons and daughters of exiles, who can talk about the American Dream in a personal way. The 38-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, he is a natural pitchman for a new GOP. It doesn’t hurt that he is photogenic.
Rubio’s story about his hardworking parents — his father’s 16-hour days and his mom’s job as Kmart clerk — is familiar by now. And though the artifact that bad luck is a virtue is as stale as Marie Antoinette’s cake, Rubio is saved from death-by-cliche by an unlikely benefactor: Fidel Castro.
Rubio’s parents came to America to escape Castro’s cruel tyranny. You don’t have to weep Glenn Beck tears — or descend into bellicosity with words such as “fascism” or “socialism” — when your life is a metaphor for the anti-Obama movement.