From Tim Mak writing at The Daily Beast:
In the early days of Marco Rubio’s campaign for U.S. Senate, he spoke at one of the first Tea Party rallies in the state of Florida.
As Rubio began to speak about not wanting to lose his country to socialism, lightning reportedly began to flash. It was to be either an omen of the betrayal his Tea Party supporters would later feel, or a foreshadowing of the powerful potential this young Cuban American had for higher office.
It had taken a month for his hometown newspaper, the Miami Herald, to notice that the 38-year-old Miami lawyer, once a leader in the state House, had formally joined the race. He didn’t even hold a launch event when he registered as acandidate for U.S. Senate in early 2009.
“It was lonely out there. He was living off the land,” an early supporter said. “If he had held a launch event for his U.S. Senate campaign, you could have held it in a phone booth.”
It was the excitement of the Florida Tea Party movement, which exploded into the public consciousness in the spring and summer of 2009, that ultimately transformed Rubio into a serious contender.
Read the rest of the story at The Daily Beast.