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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

NYT columnist: Marco Rubio, despite charisma, is window into 'our sorry politics today'



New York Times columnist Frank Bruni got a chance to see Sen. Marco Rubio in action and came away with a less than positive view.

Rubio’s attachment to something-for-nothing salesmanship was confirmed when he was asked about Medicare. He started out with two refreshingly frank admissions, saying that “there’s a growing realization that Medicare as it’s currently structured is unsustainable in the long term” and that “my generation is going to have to accept that our Medicare is going to look different.”

But then he insisted that his generation would still have the option of a Medicare program just like the current one, in addition to private-insurance alternatives. Apart from acknowledging that wealthy older Americans in the future would have to contribute more to their health care than they do now, he painted a win-win picture of undiminished aid and undiluted services.

It was a master class in wishful thinking, and I pick on it not because it was unusual, but because it distilled so many politicians’ refusal to have adult conversations with us, to assume that we’re grown-ups who can do some math and face some disappointment.

And I think Rubio in particular got under my skin because he has real charisma and obvious talent. If he hitched them to a mature grappling with our challenges, we might actually get somewhere.

Full column here.

[Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 8:56pm]


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