Best Local Boy Made Good (2013)

Marco Rubio

Few nuclear-powered rockets originate in tiny South Miami City Hall, a strip-mall-size edifice wedged between South Dixie Highway and Sunset Drive. But that's the unlikely launching pad for the Tea Party-wooing, Charlie Crist-dismantling, immigration-reforming, cheerleader-marrying, GOP-slaying cruise missile that goes by the name of Marco Rubio. Just a little more than a decade ago, Rubio was a fresh-faced lawyer on the tiny municipality's commission. Then came an election to the Florida House, the crafty ascent to speaker, and the stunning coup de grâce: The shocking 2010 beatdown of Crist to represent the Sunshine State in the U.S. Senate. Since then, Rubio has taken on the mantle of the Republican's Great Brown Hope, a Hispanic face who can talk about immigration without scaring the base. And he's an early favorite to snag a presidential nomination in 2016. Time magazine made it official this past February, gracing its cover with a stark portrait of Rubio and a headline that said it all: "The Republican Savior."


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