Meet the new face of the Republican Party as embodied by Marco Rubio (37), previously the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Rubio announced a few days ago his candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2010.
Now, normally a relatively unknown and young politician has no chance against a popular and nationally known political figure, as Rubio will have to contend with Florida governor Charlie Crist. Crist will have an enormous financial edge and all the institutional support he could ever want (the NRSC has already endorsed Crist, who announced earlier today).
And yet it is Crist's supposed moderate views, and especially his support of Obama's stimulus program earlier this year which just might make him a target of ultra conservative republicans in Florida, of whom Rubio would also be a member. Crist's move was seen as pure apostasy, and he was called out on it by Limbaugh, Hannity and others. The fact that Marco Rubio is also young, good-looking and telegenic, well-spoken and fluently bilingual in both english and spanish won't hurt his cause either. Coupled with the fact that his being a hard-core wingnut is not seen simply as an added bonus, it's now a necessity of the republican party.
Of course, this may mean the GOP's Civil War is about to break out in Florida. Pass the popcorn.