Senator Marco Rubio’s heroic appearance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library cements his conservative superstar status.
Marco Rubio was meant to be just a speaker during an appearance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library last night, but the Florida Senator also became something of a hero when he caught former First Lady Nancy Reagan mid-fall.
The duo were walking into the packed library for Rubio’s first out-of-state address to conservative activists, an event long in the making as Rubio works his way up the conservative ladder. All was going well until 90-year old Reagan stumbled, leaving Rubio to catch her.
Rubio’s quick thinking both saved Mrs. Reagan from a potentially devastating injury and sealed the senator’s political celebrity.
As ‘LA Times’ reporter Andrew Malcolm said, last night’s speech was freshman Sen. Rubio’s “political coming out.” It was the first step in an occupational journey that some speculate will lead Rubio to either the vice-presidential nomination or perhaps even the White House in 2016. And it sounds like he hit all the right notes.
“Watching Sen. Marco Rubio speak at the Reagan Library was, for me, a bit like watching Kobe Bryant early in his career,” wrote ‘The Atlantic’s’ Conor Friedersdorf.
Of course Rubio invoked GOP demigod Ronald Reagan: “There was something else that defined the Reagan presidency and that was defining the proper role of government. He did that better than any American has ever done before.”
And yes the Tea Party darling lamented this government’s impact on state of the nation. “Americans in the 20th century built here the richest most prosperous nation in the history of the world. And yet today we have built for ourselves a government that not even the richest and most prosperous nation in the face of the earth can fund or afford to pay for. An extraordinarily tragic accomplishment, if you can call it that,” he said.
But regardless of Rubio’s rhetoric and how it impacts his political career — his mere presence was enough to raise his profile — the Republican’s appearance at the Ronald Reagan Library will forever be remembered as the night he saved Nancy Reagan. That alone score him points with Americans who still have fond feelings for the former First Lady.
Is this a small step toward bipartisanship? Perhaps. Does it guarantee Rubio a special spot in conservative circles? Definitely.
Here’s video of Marco Rubio catching Nancy Reagan: