Marco Rubio can breathe easier. A soon-to-be released biography of the Republican vice presidential contender turns out to be a nuanced and largely flattering portrait of one of the most exciting figures on the national stage, rather than the hatchet job some Rubio allies had feared.
The Rise of Marco Rubio by Washington Post writer Manuel Roig-Franzia may leave some readers questioning Rubio's political core on issues ranging from immigration to government spending, but it's unlikely to dent Rubio's star power. Nor will it enhance the arguments of those who say Rubio has been inadequately vetted to be seriously considered as Mitt Romney's running mate.
The unauthorized biography explores Rubio's remarkable life story as the son of working-class Cuban immigrants whose extraordinary political gifts and instincts helped him rise to West Miami City Commissioner to the first Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House to a 40-year-old senator overshadowing colleagues with decades more experience.
It's a complex tale thoroughly reported to the point that Roig-Franzia dug up a 50-year-old recording of the immigration hearing of Rubio's grandfather, nearly deported from America a decade before Rubio was born.
The Tampa Bay Times obtained an advance copy of the book, which is scheduled for release June 19. Rubio has his own memoir scheduled for publication at the same time.
For Americans just getting to know Rubio, there is plenty in the book to raise eyebrows — criticism that he used Republican party credit cards and political committees for personal expenses, for instance — though most of that has been detailed by the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald. Those allegations did little to damage Rubio's Senate campaign in 2010.
-- Adam Smith, Tampa Bay Times