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April 14, 2015

The Florida Legislature Sounds AWESOME

Can we be honest about something for a minute? In a lot of ways Marco Rubio is the Republican Barack Obama.

1st term Senator?
Gifted orator? (Obama's not but people pretended he was)
Inspiring personal bio?
No executive experience?

Check, check and check.

They even share a background as state legislators.

While Obama tended to play his time voting present up, Rubio himself hasn't really talked about his time in the Florida House that I've seen.

Still, some of his supporters and commentators have mentioned it. Now Jim Geraghty takes a look at Rubio's time as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

One of the recurring knocks on Senator Marco Rubio, now officially a presidential candidate, is that as a senator, he’s never run or managed anything — a criticism that isn’t quite accurate. Rubio managed the Florida House of Representatives as speaker for two years, a period marked by some distinct successes but also lingering frustration with Republicans he deemed too passive and comfortable with the status quo.


Florida speakers had the ability to decide which committees could consider a bill — an authority that amounted to a de facto veto power, as a bill assigned to several committees was much less likely to pass than a bill assigned to just one, particularly in an abbreviated 60-day session. “Under my speakership, committee chairmen would have more power than ever before, but a greater share of the responsibility as well, and greater accountability,” Rubio wrote in his autobiography, An American Son. “I trusted the leaders I had chosen.”

First of all, it's a stretch to claim serving as Speaker is executive experience. No one would have said Bob Dole had executive experience because he was Senate Majority Leader. But let that go for the minute.

The really interesting thing is the nature of the Florida House. Members are limited to four two-year terms and Speakers can only serve one two-year term. Best of all, the Florida legislature only meets in regular session for 60 days, once a year (special sessions can be called for emergencies). So Rubio's term as Speaker was...brief, to say the least.

I love this. It's citizen legislating. Or should be. Rubio is a career politician after all. But 120 days over two years as Speaker of a body with such high turnover is not exactly preparation to be President of the United States.

And as for any legislative success Rubio had (though he caved to then Governor Crist on limiting tax cuts) I'd say they are far outweighed by Rubio's disastrous amnesty deal with Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and John McCain.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:27 AM

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