Wednesday, November 02, 2011

"I am a Cuban Exile Opera" starting Marco Rubio

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s bedroom eyes, pouty lips and honeyed voice make him the perfect candidate for a regular telenovela leading man.


Tuesday, November 1 2011, 5:28 PM

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s bedroom eyes, pouty lips and honeyed voice make him the perfect candidate for a regular telenovela leading man.

Maybe that could be a change for the Cuban-American Republican senator from Florida and big Latino hope of the GOP, if, after his political career, Fox News can't find a has-been spot for him. One way or another, he's getting plenty of practice now.

For the last few weeks, Rubio's been the protagonist in one of those reality shows Florida is famous for, such as the ratings-busting sagas of “Elián González, the Dolphin Boy,” “Terry Schiavo: Unplugged,” “Electoral Hanging Chads 2000” and “Alberto Cutié, a Priest in Love,” to name just a few.

Rubio has been on the A-list as a vice presidential candidate to help attract disgruntled Latino voters. In the first episode, we see and hear that hype punctured when in early September birthers declared him not fully American.

Being the darling of the Tea Party didn't help him any in this purity test. Rubio was born in Miami in 1971, when his Cuba-born parents were not yet citizens themselves. According to the birthers' interpretation of the Constitution, this renders him ineligible to run for President or vice president.

In the second capítulo of the soap opera, the hero falls victim to an evil Spanish-language television plan that, according to Rubio's staff, tried to blackmail him into sitting down for an interview with who they consider the Lord Voldemort of Univision, anchor Jorge Ramos, the pro-immigration reform Fearless Warrior, in exchange for (the plot thickens) toning down a report on the drug bust of Rubio's brother-in-law two decades earlier.

The latest chapter finds El Marco caught in a biographical lie or the usual plot device of Deep Dark Family Secret that threatens the hero's success. Rubio has billed himself as “the son of exiles” who left the island to escape the death rays of Fidel Castro, the Cuban Darth Vader; this was a centerpiece of his narrative and a main selling point to win the vote of the Cuban community in Florida's Boardwalk Empire.

But in a surprising plot double-twist worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, an Enterprising Reporter digs out the fact that Rubio’s parents had actually come to the U.S. as run-of-the-mill immigrants in 1956, when Castro was still a beardless exile (a real one) in Mexico. The parents then (gasp) return to Havana in 1960 or 1961 after (double gasp) the revolution, maybe to stay for good … or to nurse the Grandfather who was run over by a bus… or not.

Millions of television viewers wait with bated breath for the conclusion of the story. But as with all classic Spanish soap operas, you have to hang in there for 30 or 40 more episodes to find the answer to questions such as: Can El Marco overcome all the bad publicity and still be picked as a running mate for the Republican nominee? If he is, will it make any difference to Latinos who are sick and tired of all the Republican hate-mongering and death by electricity at the border? Will he get a better haircut? Or, will he end up being the Sarah Palin of 2012, all coiffed and nowhere to go?

Stay tuned.

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