Media Matters paid for their researcher to comb the depths of Miami’s city council records looking for evidence that Marco Rubio was a terrible human being, and by golly they got their money’s worth.
Now that their pitches are probably no longer welcome at the New York Times, whatever opposition researcher firm is currently devoting way too much time to destroying Marco Rubio took their latest “exposé” to the Washington Post, which on Thursday published a breathless article about all of the long and horrendously boring West Miami City Commission meetings Marco Rubio had to endure at his first level of government — a level that the Post finds to be suspiciously “low rung” of elective politics.
From April 1998 until his February 2000 debut in the Florida legislature, Rubio endured hours of monotonous debates about car wash regulations, inadequate bus stop benches, the relative merits of oak vs. black olive trees, and what snacks should be allowed in city park vending machines.
Rarely has a major presidential candidate begun at such a low rung of elective politics. Two years out of the University of Miami’s law school, Rubio was elected with 744 votes, becoming the junior-most member of a five-person city commission in West Miami, a predominantly Cuban and working-class community of about 6,000, not even a square mile long.
I am absolutely horrified. You mean Marco Rubio was responsible for the minutae of local government, and took on this responsibility willingly? I am floored. This is almost as bad asthat time Marco Rubio liquified a retirement account to buy a new fridge. Or that time he bought a ramshackle cottage to flip, earning him a cool $125,000 — ten thousand less than he paid for it.
Of course, though, the grueling hours attendant to a local government position quickly got to Rubio, who, in one notable meeting — to the Post — cracked under the intense pressure and openly bemoaned the ineffectiveness of arguing about different-colored annual flower installations for hours on end.
The meeting at city hall was in its grueling third hour when the fresh-faced 26-year-old newcomer started to lose his cool.
He fidgeted in his seat. He rocked back and forth. He buried his head in his palms before grabbing the microphone in exhaustion.
“Can we do something?” he said. “I don’t care what we do. Let’s do something.”
It’s just indicative of a pattern of behavior. He once, also, got into an argument with another commissioner about an increase in garbage collection fees.
He’s clearly unstable. Something should be done.
The worst thing about this story is not really the “scooplets” the Post is trumpeting — anyone who has ever watched a meeting of their local government on public access television, likely while sick and unable to move, trapped on the sofa out of reach of the remote control, local governments are contentious beast — but that the Post reporters sorted through sixty-three hours of footage in order to catch the thirty seconds where Marco Rubio totally loses it. Sixty-three hours of old people with landcaping requests and noise complaints, discussions about the proper disposal of dog feces, and pointless arguments about potholes and easements. That’s almost punishment enough for having actually managed to squeeze out a story about it.