From the Freedom Tower in Miami, the ‘Ellis Island of Florida’, Sen. Marco Rubio is expected to announce his bid today for the White House making him the third official GOP presidential candidate to do so.
Joining his two Senate colleagues Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Rubio’s much-anticipated entrance will be the beneficiary of a luck of the draw. It aligns both with a rocky launch by Hillary Clinton and with the ‘historic’ meeting between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.
Rubio’s national star rose among the gaggle of Tea Party revolutionaries in 2010. Rubio made it to DC by defeating an establishment candidate, but that reputation was quickly put to the test when he joined the ‘Gang of Eight’ for the ill-fated comprehensive immigration reform.
Whether he has repaired the damage done by that legislation, which was sharply criticized by conservatives as just another amnesty bill, is the question atop the list of challenge his campaign will face at the outset.
But perhaps more daunting is whether he can compete with fellow Floridian and former mentor Jeb Bush, who has been sucking up campaign cash and supporters in and out of the Sunshine State for more than three months already.
Rubio will likely seek to position himself to the right of Bush, but with that space already officially taken up by Paul and Cruz and unofficially by many more, his middle-of-the-pack position in the polls poses a long road ahead before he can claim to be within striking distance.