"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Senator Rubio assigned to Senate Commerce, Small Business, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence Committees

As I watched and listened to the Marco Rubio giving the Republican address on 11/16/10, I am struck with his ability to connect to people even on YouTube.  It is like he is talking directly to each of us that watch his videos.  Marco Rubio has that rare trait that he can connect with people whether in person or in a video.

Senator Rubio has received his committee assignments in the Senate and has chosen his Chief of Staff Cesar Conda who worked at one time for Vice President Cheney.  Now when can Rubio and other newly elected Senators move into their permanent offices?  Because of increased numbers of Republicans, some will be taking over former Senate offices occupied by Democrats.  We learned that outgoing Senators have six months to clear out?  Why? 

Senator Rubio has a basement cubicle in the Dirkson Senate Office Building along with Sen Dan Coats (R-IN) who has a vast background in foreign policy and another Freshman Pat Toomey (PA).  Very few Republicans have their permanent office unless they are replacing a Senator that had some ethics and cleaned out the office in time for the new Senator to occupy when the session started.   Some Senators with seniority also switched offices for a better view or other reasons so the moving people in the Senate have been very busy.

Senator Rubio has an impressive list of Senate assignments to enhance his background as detailed by the Miami Herald and other news sources. He made a weekend trip earlier this month to Afghanistan as part of a group of seven Republican Senators led by Minority Leader McConnell along with Lindsey Graham (SC), and Richard Burr (NC), and other Freshman Senataors Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI) and Kelly Ayotte (NH).

The trip, disclosed by a NATO website, is Rubio's first overseas visit as a senator (he went to Israel after the election but before being sworn in) and gave him an up-close look as the debate picks up over what to do with the war.

We were surprised to see that Senator Bill Nelson from Florida has lost his seat on Armed Services according to the Miami Herald since he was a member of the military and an astronaut.  The seat was lost because Republicans gained six seats in the Senate?  Can think of other Democrats that should not have a seat on Armed Services instead of Nelson -- why put Freshman Senators Coons or Manchin on Armed Services instead of Bill Nelson?  Has Nelson fallen out of favor with Reid?  Latest info: Nelson has given up his seat at the request of Majority Leader Harry Reid

Marco Rubio gets committee assignments: foreign relations, intelligence; Nelson loses Armed Services post
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio today landed perches on several key committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation, Foreign Relations, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Rubio said: "I’m honored to be a member of these important committees that address some of our nation’s and state’s most important issues. This committee portfolio will enable me to work directly on policies to promote private sector job creation, keep Americans safe and maintain our strong standing in the world.

"In addition to continuing my work with small business entrepreneurs I’ve met throughout Florida, I am especially encouraged by the fact that these assignments will allow me to work on many issues of great interest to Floridians, including NASA, free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and relations with key allies in our hemisphere and across the world."

(That makes Rubio the 5th Floridian on a foreign relations committee: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen chairs the House panel and David Rivera, Frederica Wilson and Connie Mack are on the committee.)

Read more: Miami Herald

We did get one chuckle out of all of this as this paragraph appeared in the article from the Weekly Standard about Rubio's staff:

Conda is one of four senior Rubio staffers who worked on or otherwise advised Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. (The others are: Sally Canfield, Rubio’s legislative director; Joe Pounder, communications director; Alex Burgos, press secretary.)
All these people did work for the Romney for President campaign but a lot of George W and Jeb Bush's people worked not only for Romney, but for a lot of the campaigns in 2008. Backgrounds on all but Alex Burgos go back to Bush/Cheney where Cesar Conda worked two years for Vice President Cheney,Sally Canfield was a Domestic Policy Advisory to Gov George Bush during the 2000 campaign, and Joe Pounder worked in the Bush White House in Communications the first two years of the Administration. Alex Burgos was senior communications manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center before joining the Rubio campaign, and he was also deputy press secretary for the NRCC.

What Senator Rubio has done is hire some of the best people Republicans have with a lot of experience at not only the state level but at the National level which is very important to a Senator that their staff has worked in DC.

Marco Rubio Picks a Chief of Staff: Cesar Conda12:15 AM, Jan 28, 2011 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES

The old Washington axiom that congressional staffers are often more powerful than their bosses will not apply to Marco Rubio and those who work for him. But, as the tremendous number of resumes submitted to his office suggests, Rubio’s staff will be important. And in a move that brings an end to what has been the source of growing speculation on Capitol Hill, Rubio has hired Cesar Conda as his chief of staff.

Conda is a well-known and highly regarded policy wonk, with experience in the executive branch as well as on Capitol Hill. He worked closely with Rubio during the fall campaign, advising the candidate on policy and serving as a key player on Rubio’s debate prep team. After the election, Conda helped run the transition, a job that included putting together the staff he will now lead.

Conda served as the top domestic policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney during the first two years of the Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a critical behind-the-scenes role in conceiving the Bush tax cuts and Bush economic policy more broadly. When Cheney engaged in a quiet debate with his old friend Fed chairman Alan Greenspan about whether bigger deficits lead to growing interest rates, he tasked Conda to prepare his response to a study Greenspan sent.

Before joining the Bush administration, Conda worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Spence Abraham from Michigan (when Abraham was a freshman) and Senator Bob Kasten from Wisconsin. In the private sector, he worked as an analyst for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, more recently, was a co-founder of “Navigators,” a public affairs firm.

Yesterday, Rubio was assigned to the Senate Commerce, Small Business, Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees

Excerpt: Read More at Weekly Standard
This explains why some National Tea Party people threw Rubio under the bus after the election and recently got mad at him for not becoming a member of the DeMint/Paul Tea Party Caucus in the Senate. Some Tea Party people accused Rubio of being the establishment. Let's see, Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House (check), looks to Jeb Bush for advice (check), hires members of his Senate staff with ties to George W. Bush/Dick Cheney/NRCC/Chamber of Commerce (check) for starters.   NOTE:  The Tea Party in Florida has joined with the Florida grassroots and others to form a coalition and do support Rubio as the vast majority of them campaigned for Senator Rubio, but then they also like Jeb Bush. 

This is also an example of some of the National Tea Party people who do not understand the world of politics and how it works -- candidates and offices holders reach out to people with experience who have already been through campaigns and have gained experience working for people who were elected to office. In this case because of Rubio's contacts, he has pulled in some of the best and brightest people we have to be part of his Senate staff with a lot of experience at the National level. 

These are the some of the same Tea Party people who got mad when Freshman Senators and Representatives went to the official orientation to learn from the Claremore Institute how everything works in DC instead of their Tea Party Patriot orientation.  What did one of their people do when they got mad, she sent out Freshman names with their private cell phone numbers and email addresses. 

Rubio was the Florida Grassroots candidate before the Tea Party got involved something else the National Tea Party does not understand. He built his base in the counties where the County Chairs were livid with Gov Crist and GOP Chair Greer. Senator Rubio has had close ties to Jeb for years and they served together -- Jeb as Governor and Rubio as Speaker of the Florida House plus you can tell they genuinely like each other. Jeb's two sons were some of Rubio's first fundraisers long before Jeb endorsed Marco for Senate.

If Senator Marco Rubio is what the Tea Party now calls 'establishment,' please give us more candidates like the 'establishment' Marco Rubio. Next up he will be joining a lot of other fellow Republicans with the 'elitist' label to go with 'establishment' label.

Seems to now be the mantra of some Tea Party people if you don't agree with them, then they are going to label you with names they think have a negative connotation. Childish is a better word for these tactics. Reminds you of the little kid who wanted to be quarterback and when they chose someone else, he took his football and went home. Are these the same people who are always threatening Republicans to stay home and not vote which they carried out in 2006 and 2008 or vote Third Party because the candidate didn't agree with their views 100%? We are quickly beginning to wonder if those are the people who have taken over the National Tea Party movement. After all, Ron Paul keeps taking credit for starting the Tea Party movement.

Tea Party movement was started with individuals mad about how the Federal Government under Obama and the Progressive Democrats were spending their tax dollars, but how many of them are Paul supporters? Is Sen DeMint going to be shocked when Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky takes over the Senate Tea Party Caucus and DeMint learns a lot of the Tea Party are actually Paul supporters? Is Rand Paul going to run for President if his Dad doesn't?  Is Fox News really the people behind the National Tea Party movement?  All good questions with no answers -- we will be watching.

Pass the popcorn as this is about to get interesting as various candidates fight it out to claim the Tea Party candidate mantle -- we are betting a good portion of the Tea Party will once again support Ron Paul like they did in 2008 or his son, Rand Paul, if his Dad doesn't run.  Then what are the Fox commentators going to have to say about the Tea Party movement they pushed so hard as bright, shiny, and new?

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