Marco Rubio swept into the Senate with more hype than any politician since, well, Barack Obama. The then-Tea Party wunderkind promised he wouldn't let the hype go to his head and would concentrate on the job he was elected to do.
So much for that. Turns out, of every single serving U.S. senator, Marco Rubio has missed the most votes.
The analysis comes from Vocativ and YouGov, which note that they omitted Sen. Mark Kirk, who missed a year of work in 2012 while recovering from a stroke, and John McCain, who ran for president twice.
Rubio has missed 99 votes out of the 1,198 in the four years he's been in office. That means he's been absent for 8.30 percent of possible votes.
So what has Rubio been up to?
Well, for example, this week he's touring the early primary states on a book tour for his new tome, American Dreams. It began February 13 in West Des Moines, Iowa, and will end February 23 in Manchester, New Hampshire. He'll miss several votes during the tour.
Late last month, Rubio was also on a West Coast fundraising tour during which he also missed votes. In fact, YouGov data shows he is poised to miss more votes in January and February of this year than he has at any other point in his career. He's missed 39.3 percent of votes so far this year.
The surge of missed votes in July through September 2012 also correlates with Rubio's tour for his previous book, An American Son.
Of course, with Rubio seriously considering a presidential run, we should expect only more missed votes.
Update: Rubio spokeswoman Brooke Sammon has replied to Rubio's missed votes in a statement.
"Senator Rubio takes his responsibilities as both a senator and a father seriously," Sammon said. "The vast majority of missed votes are when the latter duties take precedent, and he needs to be in Miami for family commitments. He is one of the only senators with young children who has not moved his family to D.C., and tries to spend as much time in Florida with them as possible. In addition to his parental responsibilities, in recent years he's also had to return to Florida and miss votes due to his mother's health and civic responsibilities like jury duty. Normally when he misses votes, his vote would not have been decisive, but in those instances he tries to submit statements for the record or write a blog post explaining how he would have voted."
Sammon also alluded to Rubio's possible presidential candidacy.
"t's not unusual for presidential candidates to miss Senate votes. Senator Rubio has not made a final decision about 2016, but he's seriously considering running for president and taking the necessary steps to prepare a competitive campaign. As he travels the country talking about his agenda to help the middle class, there will be no doubt where he stands on any important issues before the Senate."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook.