The New York Times recently followed up its weird story on Marco Rubio’s traffic violation history with another on his personal finances. At the end of the day the newest piece essentially boils down to: Marco Rubio is unfit to be president because he’s just like the vast majority of responsible adults with large student loan bills. If Marco Rubio was like most politicians, who mysteriously become millionaires soon after arriving in Washington, D.C., then he might have the chops to be the next commander in chief.
The New York Times reported June 9:
Mr. Rubio entered public life in a deep financial hole of his own making.
Soon after he was elected to the Legislature in 2000, he reported a net worth of zero, about $150,000 in student loan debt, and $30,000 in what he called assorted credit and retail debt.
It was the inauspicious start to a decade of big financial ups and downs. In interviews, friends and advisers describe Mr. Rubio as a young politician entering public life just out of law school, whose charisma and stardom quickly outstripped his financial acumen, leaving him unprepared to manage the expensive campaigns and lucrative career opportunities that came his way.
How dare Mr. Rubio, the son of a Cuban immigrant bartender and a hotel worker, not have the financial acumen in his 20s of Tony Robbins in his 40s.
Do you see how it works with The New York Times? If a (Republican) man from humble beginnings claws his way into successful circles, then he has put himself into a “deep financial hole of his own making.” If a (Republican) man with a large bank account runs for office, then he’s out of touch and cannot be trusted (e.g., Mitt Romney).
Question: Am I in a “deep financial hole” that should cause employers to question my ability to handle money? I currently owe $52,328.16 in student loans that were raked up as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California and a graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C.
Answer: No. The reason is because, like Marco Rubio and millions of other Americans, I used my education and work experience to obtain human capital. I have never missed a payment. If I lost my job tomorrow, then I would still find employment capable of paying the bills. I have saved money for a “rainy day,” and have a retirement account. It is absurd to suggest that a sitting U.S. senator with a law degree and a winning personality is somehow a financial liability because he has a mortgage, student loan debt, and car payments.
On some level, The New York Times’ coverage of the Rubio campaign comes across less as a hit job and more like a warning to Hillary Clinton: this guy is going to be tough to sink through the traditional means of personal destruction. Tell your A-Team to get creative with the slime tactics.
If parking tickets and student loan bills are the best The New York Times can come up with on Mr. Rubio, then he has positioned himself quite well. Regardless, he should expect the coverage to get even worse as desperation sets in. Democrats cannot afford to have a good-looking, well-spoken, bilingual minority become the face of the Republican Party. Partisan media hacks will do their best to destroy him, no matter how much sleaze the effort requires.
Update: Reader Patrick brought up the idea of a “Speed Rubio” poster in response to The New York Times’ traffic ticket story. I think that would be an amazing idea.