In an article teasing "the Miami hotel that could pick the next president," BuzzFeed has done its best to paint Miami's Republican power base as a nighttime soap opera featuring the brewing battle between two favorite sons, all centered on the glamorous Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. They've even illustrated it with a Downton Abbey spoof.
And while it's not exactly breaking news locally that the Biltmore is a hot spot for Republican fundraisers and power meetings (Democrats, for what it's worth, now seem to prefer the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach), the piece does paint an interesting picture of local power players' outlook on whether Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio should run for president.
Just about everyone involved thinks Jebbers and Marco will come to some sort of agreement that only one will run for president in 2016, but interestingly, it appears that in contrast to the national GOP's recent nonstop Rubio hard-on, local power players are hoping Bush emerges as their man.
"It would be as painful as picking between two of your children," local Republican gadfly (as well as partner of the Biltmore's owner) Ana Navarro says. "But time is a factor. Marco has plenty of time. Jeb doesn't. There's stopping Marco from being ready by 2016. Jeb is ready now. He's been ready for years, and we've been ready and waiting."
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Apparently, Miami's Republican power player, or at least those that McKay Coppins talked to, think Rubio's image is too tightly scripted, and they're disappointed he took so long to get involved in the immigration debate in a meaningful way.
Of course, the article does seem a little tilted in favor of Jeb. After all, he runs his foundation out of an office in the Biltmore. Rubio's connection to the hotel isn't that much more notable than any other local Republican politicians. Jeb's son, Jebbers Jr., is quoted numerous times. No one that close to Rubio was quoted in the piece.
Rubio fans probably wouldn't be all that wrong to write it off as another Rubio hit piece hidden in the history of the landmark hotel. Still, the Miami-Dade preference as to whether Bush or Rubio runs in 2016 might be one of the most tense political story lines over the next few years.