Make that West Miami. On the eve of his swearing-in to the U.S. Senate, the Miami Republican basked in congratulatory hugs and kisses from a crowd that hailed from across the state -- with a decided emphasis on South Florida.
In attendance at "Florida House," the state's Capitol Hill embassy: Eduardo H. Muhiña, the current mayor of West Miami -- where Rubio got his start -- and two former mayors, along with former Florida House Republicans Gaston Cantens and Carlos Lacasa of Miami.
Also in attendance: Florida's senior Sen. Bill Nelson, who, in Senate tradition, will accompany Rubio Wednesday as he walks down the center aisle in the Senate to take the oath of office. The vice president -- sitting as the president of the Senate -- will administer the oath.
"I look forward to walking down the aisle with you tomorrow," Rubio said to laughter. He pledged to work with Nelson on Florida issues. And he cautioned the crowd: "after all the pomp and circumstance is over, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us."
It was Ros-Lehtinen, he said, who "allowed me to work in her office as an intern back in 1991." And Sosa, he said, was West Miami mayor "when I knocked on her door in late December 1997 and asked her if she would help me run for the city commission.
"She helped me, I won and look what it's gotten us," he said.