Senator Marco Rubio’s appeal as the GOP standard-bearer in 2016 cannot be understated. Florida Today reports that though he’s Hispanic, his real appeal is found in his policies, rather than his heritage.
“The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it, and Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday, less than two hours after Romney’s concession speech.
The reason Senator Rubio is such a compelling conservative leader has far more to do with his ability to communicate the conservative message and connect with people on a personal level. It has far less to do with his racial or ancestral makeup. In his interviews and TV appearances, Senator Rubio is relaxed, comfortable, and even happy when discussing the conservative platform. (If you don’t believe me, go back and watch some of his Daily Show appearances with Jonathan Stewart.) He never seems ruffled by sharp questions or annoyed by disagreement
He’s also someone people can relate to. Colin Cowherd (ESPN talk show host) diagnosed this problem aptly in his broadcast shortly after the election. He explained that in his opinion, people want to relate to the person they’re voting for. It’s the same reason that Jeter and A-Rod don’t have the same appeal: while both are Hall of Fame caliber players, Jeter is imminently more popular. This is primarily due to the fact that he seems like “one of us.” Unfortunately, Governor Romney was never seen as someone people could relate to. As much as we would like an election to be about who is the best qualified to lead the country, we cannot ignore the reality that people want a leader who they believe is not foreign to them. In 2012, Obama was able to navigate that distinction far better than Romney.