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Marco Rubio, Florida's junior senator, is one of the brightest stars in the GOP constellation, and he could end up as president someday. For the moment, however, he seems content to consolidate his base and broaden his appeal among independent voters.

A presidential bid in 2012? Forget it. How about a vice-presidential slot? Doubtful. Rubio's smart enough to know that a premature run for executive office could cause him to flame out like a supernova. Rubio's just 40 years old, so he has plenty of time to nurture his presidential bonafides.

Rubio is an excellent communicator. He eschews platitudes, but is able to get across his message quickly and succinctly. His conservative credentials appeal to tea partiers in the GOP, but his approach to issues also attracts independent voters.

A case in point is a measure he's introduced in the Senate that would reduce the nation's deficit and also strike a nonthreatening blow for states' rights. U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Montana Republican, has introduced a similar measure in the House of Representatives.


Read the full op-ed here.