Newly elected Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, are meeting billionaire businessman/Jewish community leader/political pot-stirrer Norman Braman, his wife and her sister in Israel next week.
Braman was an early Rubio supporter and said they have talked about going to Israel together for years. He stressed that Rubio was paying his own way. It will be his first trip to Israel.
"I was hopeful that it would come about win or lose,'' Braman said. "Marco and Jeanette are religious people."
Braman is in the middle of a ferocious campaign to recall MIami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who, you may recall, endorsed Rubio's ex-rival Charlie Crist in the Senate race. Rubio's name was even bandied about in 2008 as a potential Alvarez challenger. Braman paid for a poll that showed Rubio and Alvarez in a tie.
The Rubio camp was mum on what it called a "private and personal visit to the Holy Land next week. There will be no official meetings or media interviews, and specific details of the trip will be kept private. Senator-elect Rubio is also working with pro-Israel supporters to make an official trip back to Israel early next year after he is sworn into office."