Sen. Marco Rubio earning respect in Senate for foreign-policy work
Marco Rubio had just stepped off the plane from his first visit to Cuba, the homeland of his forebears, a land at the heart of his political identity.
Did he at least bring back a souvenir?
“No,” he said Tuesday evening.
No sand? No water? No rocks?
“No,” he smiled.
For Rubio, who traveled to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base as a member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, the trip was all business. And that’s pretty typical for the Republican freshmen senator, according to colleagues like Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry and Rubio’s fellow foreign-policy hawk Sen. Joe Lieberman.
“Marco’s not a show horse,” Lieberman said. “He’s a workhorse.”
One day he’ll be giving a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington or the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday. Next, he’ll be lugging Henry Kissinger’s “Diplomacy” tome to a Munich conference, stopping along the way in Madrid to chat with Spain’s prime minister in Spanish as his unilingual Anglo colleagues twiddle their thumbs. He also has travelled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malta, Libya, Haiti and Colombia.
The nation’s political chattering class focuses most heavily on Rubio as a vice-presidential shortlister, but his Senate colleagues can’t help but talk about him becoming a key foreign-policy player as a member of the intelligence and foreign-relations committees.
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