The good news is, the media has finally realized that harping on Marco Rubio’s college loans and modest boat purchases is a losing strategy.
The bad news is, in response, they’ve just started harping on Marco Rubio’s amazing, limitless wealth and how one man, the son of immigrants from Cuba, became a self-made hundred-thousand-aire by trading in his modest job as a small time lawyer for the spectacular wealth creation attendant to a life of political service. In other words, the Washington Post is 100% convinced that Marco Rubio is filthy, stinking rich and there’s very little you can do about it.
Marco Rubio was 28 when he was elected to the Florida legislature. He was about to become a father and was struggling to balance the financial demands of a growing family with his political aspirations.
About a year and a half after taking his seat in Florida’s part-time legislature, Rubio got a financial boost, accepting a job at the Miami law firm Becker & Poliakoff for $93,000 a year. Although Rubio was a lawyer by training, his colleagues quickly recognized the advantage of having a charismatic, high-energy politician in the office.
“It was as simple as saying, ‘Marco, who should I call in this place about this issue?’ ” recalled Perry Adair, a real estate lawyer in charge of the firm’s Miami office, where Rubio worked from 2001 to 2004. “Marco knew the staff everywhere. He had been in politics all his life.”…
Rubio’s annual income grew from about $72,000 when he was elected to the state House in 2000 to $414,000 in 2008, when his two-year speakership ended, according to financial disclosure forms and interviews with Rubio campaign staff members.
So, Marco Rubio had a marketable skill that made him valuable to his organization, thus increasing his pay. Holy hell! Why didn’t the rest of us think of that?
What the WaPo seems to ignore is that Rubio’s gains are not ill-gotten. There’s no indication that, while working for large law firms that had public affairs practices, that he actively engaged in any activity that would create a conflict of interest (though the WaPo seems to want to make that assertion, by noting that his law firms did some lobbying work, as most law firms do). And while they briefly discuss Rubio’s “spending practices” they ignore the finer details of the New York Times‘s ridiculous story – that much of the money for Rubio’s fishing boat and his wife’s SUV came from the windfall Rubio got when he published his memoir. Most of Rubio’s “lobbying,” as confirmed by his law firm, was helping real estate clients navigate the sometimes confusing world of zoning regulations, securing meetings with local government officials and using his local contacts to facilitate zoning changes.
I mean, it’s hardly taking millions for your foundation from rich Middle Eastern oil barons with business before the State Department, but I’m sure the American people will be thoroughly shocked and saddened at the backscratching arrangement Marco Rubio had with the people who approve local housing developments.
The Washington Post also seems to go out of its way to dismiss the distinction Rubio draws between himself and other, richer candidates like Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, the latter of whom commands more per speech than Marco Rubio earned in an entire year at the middling point of his career. Apparently, Marco’s meteoric rise into the bottom rung of the 1%, that took something like two decades and seems rather like hard work, is far more important than, say, whether his family is able to summer at Kennebunkport, or is forced to forgo a vacation in the Hamptons lest their wealth and privilege become to apparent to the average American media consumer. Poor Rubio is stuck motoring his modest fishing boat out to Key Largo for a little communal time with the tuna.