REVIEW: Marco Rubio’s “An American Son: A Memoir”

If people didn’t want Marco Rubio to be the vice-presidential nominee before reading “An American Son: A memoir,” they sure as hell will after. NOTE: How’s this for timing?

This should not come as a shock to any of you because if you’re reading this blog right now, you’re most likely already a huge Marco Rubio supporter. You not only supported him in his 2010 primary race against Charlie Crist, you viewed that race as the most important one of the year. The book takes you behind the scenes from his decision to run, to his issues with Crist, to even when he almost dropped out.

More importantly, you learn about his career prior to his Senate run and his 2010 CPAC speech (where most people first heard his name). One of the knocks against Sen. Rubio is that, having less than two years in the Senate, he doesn’t have the experience for a national ticket. After all, look how well it’s working out for us in the White House now! “An American Son” will show you just how much of a difference there is between a back bencher in the Illinois legislature and the former Florida Speaker of the House.

It was interesting, from his time as speaker, hearing him be a lot more honest about some of the mistakes he made or battles that he lost than I’m used to reading in political biographies. He also spoke a lot more about negotiating and compromising with the Florida Senate, Democrats and Gov. Crist (but I repeat myself) than you’d expect to read from someone so revered from uber conservatives who thing “negotiate” and “compromise” are cuss words. Sen. Rubio showed how he was able to work with people with opposing worldviews, yet still maintain his conservative principles. If not Vice-President, he definitely has my vote for Senate Majority Leader.

What I found the most fascinating was that, in all the political biographies I’ve ever read, I never read one where I felt the person was as in love with their spouse as Sen. Rubio is with his wife Jeanette. Parts of the book, he almost felt apologetic that the wife of a public figure wasn’t one that she wanted, and for all the sacrifice she made for his career. Everyone goes through the motions of “my wife was my biggest supporter” or “my wife was with me every step of the way,” which is everything that while I’m sure it’s true; it’s what you expect politicians to say. With Sen. Rubio, he writes less about “his wife” as much as he does “his partner.” It was very touching.

Whether it’s Senate Majority Leader or vice-president – or God willing, someday President – Marco Rubio being elected US Senator is just the end of another beginning for him. If you’re excited to see where he’s going, you’ll thoroughly enjoy reading about where he’s been.


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