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January 2013

Is Marco Rubio Florida's new Allen West

Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, Connie Mack, Allen West and Marco Rubio - who would have thunk it?  Rubio joined the other four in voting against the fiscal cliff bill. Who would have thunk it? 

Really. Rubio is certainly a far more thoughtful politician than the folks with whom he joined hands. Bachmann? Paul? Mack? West? Is this the company Rubio now keeps?

The general consensus seems to be that Rubio's vote was a carefully calculated effort to protect his ambition to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016. Perhaps, but he cast his vote with a fuzzy crystal ball. The only certain thing about 2016 is that most of what the political folks are talking about today will be irrelevant in four years.

Rubio's vote was not a moment of statemanship. It was not an effort to lead. It was not about helping America. 

It was about Rubio. And Sen. Rubio is better than that.

If Rubio has decided that he is merely a Tea Party leader than he offers little to Republicans and Democrats who are not part of the Tea Party movement - and he limits his potential in 2016. 

But let's forget 2016 for a moment. Rubio represents the Sunshine State. Did his vote reflect what was best for Florida? Would Florida be better off if the nation had fallen off the fiscal cliff? Would the resulting economic crisis further cripple Florida's economy? 

Sometimes when the spotlight of the national stage becomes too bright, one forgets the voters who lifted you onto the stage.

This was Rubio's Allen West moment - strident and pointless.