Welcome to the national spotlight, young man.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, is finding out first hand how tough it is to keep some aspects of one’s personal life out of the glare of public view.
It really cannot be done.
The New York Times has published a couple of stories about the senator from Florida. One of them details the number of traffic tickets he and his wife (mostly his wife) have run up in the past 18 years. The other examines the couple’s spending habits.
The stories aren’t exactly flattering. In fact, they’re quite unflattering. Rubio has hit back at the Times over the personal finances story. He wrote an email: “It’s true, I didn’t make over $11 million last year giving speeches to special interests,” Rubio said. “And we don’t have a family foundation that has raised $2 billion from Wall Street and foreign interests.” Those examples appear to be shots at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who’s come under scrutiny herself for the money she has earned since she and her husband, President Bill Clinton, left the White House in 2001.
Personally, I think the traffic-ticket story is overblown. Indeed, if he is elected president in 2016, neither he or his wife will be sitting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle on public streets for at least the next four years. So, what’s the point, right?
As for the financial story, the Rubios reportedly have thrown a good bit of money that Sen. Rubio seem to indicate they don’t have. According to U.S. News & World report: “The Times also said Rubio has handled his personal finances in a manner that ‘experts called imprudent,’ with a low saving rate, substantial debt, buying an $80,000 boat and leasing a $50,000 2015 Audi Q7.” Rubio is going to insist on prudent spending by the government as he campaigns for president. Do as I say and not as I do? Is that it, senator?
Here’s a thought for the Times’s editors to consider: If you’re going to examine the personal spending habits and the portfolios of the candidates, be sure to look at Sen. Bernie Sanders’s account statements carefully. He is the “Democratic socialist” who’s campaigning for the Democratic Party nomination on a platform that seeks to redistribute wealth throughout the country because of what he calls the “obscene” wealth of too few Americans.
As for Rubio and the treatment he’s gotten from the media, there’s much more scrutiny to come.
It goes with the territory.