I watched a few of the Marco Rubio interviews when many news outlets thought he might be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate. During the interviews, I could help but think that Rubio didn’t seem extremely comfortable or handle some questions well. He seemed to lack the “delusional confidence” that characterizes most Republicans.
There was no way Rubio would be picked. I started to suspect that these interviews were scheduled in order to see if Rubio would make a good vice presidential selection. But that wasn’t the only reason that Rubio wasn’t picked…
While Rubio might be Latino, his selection wouldn’t guarantee Latino votes. Why not? Well, Rubio is Cuban and not from the rest of Latin America, especially Mexico. Why’s that matter? Uh, because for a very long time, Cubans have received preferential treatment by the U.S. government when they immigrated here. If they could get to U.S. soil, they typically got to stay.
Not only do Cubans receive different immigration treatment, but they have usually been perceived differently. According to an “[excerpt] from Kevin R. Johnson, Comparative Racialization: Culture and National Origin in the Latina/o Communities:”
At least at one time, positive stereotypes about Cubans as a “model minority” justified their generous treatment under the law. When viewed as white, educated, middle and upper class, and refugees of communism, Cubans fared well..Similarly, the racialization of Mexican immigrants as dark, poor, and uneducated, long has rationalized their harsh treatment under the immigration laws.
Clearly, not all Latinos have the same experience; therefore, Marco Rubio isn’t automatically a uniting candidate for Latinos. The fact that Republican strategists thought Rubio would sway large numbers of Latinos voters proves that Republicans are tone deaf about Latinos and other minorities.
Better luck next time…