This weekend The New York Times magazine asked if Marco Rubio is "The First Senator from the Tea Party?"
Rubios Answer: apparently, "Umm, no, not really." Rubio, at the end of the day, is much more interested in being the 35th Senator from Florida than being the First Senator of Tea Baggers.
These grass-roots movements, as exciting as they can be, don't always equal success on election day. Just ask Howard Dean, Doug Hoffman, and Ned Lamont.
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The St. Pete Times paints a picture of a Rubio campaign that's willing to let the Tea Party movement embrace him, but doesn't want to be painted as a fringe candidate.
Even though he's not above making sly comparisons of Barack Obama to Fidel Castro (he recently told a crowd: "My parents lost their country to a government. I will not lose mine to a government."), Rubio knows even if he is successful in the Republican primary he still has to face the general election in a state that has a strong recent history of electing moderate Senators on both sides of the aisle.
Let's not say Rubio is just using the excited tea bag hoards as a means to an end, but he knows that the movement might not even be there in 2016 assuming he's successful in his bid for the Senate and up for re-election. But it's also helpful to remember this is a guy who once said he agrees with Charlie Crist about 99 percent of the time.