CNN better not get in my way. West Miami is my home turf.
But we can expect national news crews out there on Tuesday night when U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio — a close consideration for VP last year and a name often heard in the same sentence as “first Hispanic U.S. president” — gives the official Republican Party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and they will be watching live from the city that saw his political start in 1998.
Rubio, who is now moving out of the small town just west of Coral Gables and to D.C. is frequently talked about as a presidential candidate in 2016. Not as number two this time, but as number one on the ballot.
Fresh off the heels of his vital role in the bipartisan immigration plan that is the talk of the nation, Rubio — whose star rose dramatically in the last year and has quickly become the GOP’s most prominent Latino and it’s great Hispanic hope — will be the first person to give the State of the Union response in both English and Spanish.
Call it the first bilingual State of the Union rebuttal. I can see the headline now: “Que que?”
And Miami-Dade Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, who was mayor of West Miami and served with then-Commissioner Marco Rubio, thinks that’s a big deal. “It’s an incredible step in his career to be able to delivery the message in both languates,” she said.
Um, I don’t know. It didn’t help Congressman Paul Ryan, who gave the response (albeit only in English) in 2011.
Anyway, she’s a proud mama. So she’s having a State of the Union watch party for her old friend. My words. Not hers.
“It’s not really going to be a party,” she told Ladra. “There’s not going to be anything there for sale to eat or drink.”
But still, she has invited people to join her, West Miami Mayor Eduardo Muhiña, city commissioners (who can only dream, right?) and, via TV, “Marquito” — who was at County Hall last month to swear-in the veteran commissioner as chair — at the community center named after her on Southwest 62nd Avenue for the late night review of Obama’s words.
The president’s speech begins at 9 p.m. So maybe we’ll go live at 11.
“Watch Senator Marco Rubio become the first person to deliver a bilingual response to a State of the Union address,” Sosa wrote on the press release.
“Expect some harshness,” is simply implied.
But Sosa may not really care what Rubio — who was Obama’s biggest critic during the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, where he was the favorite surrogate — says.
“The content of the delivered speech is not important,” she told Ladra on the telephone Friday afternoon.
“What we are proud of is that he is the one chosen to give the response.”