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Marco Rubio’s Rise to Power Fueled by Ambition and ‘Sharp Elbows’

The New York Times takes a look at Marco Rubio’s rise to power in Florida.

Mr. Rubio, now 44, a United States senator, and running for president, spent most of his career in the state capital defying those who wanted him to fall in line. And the same sharp-elbowed drive that fueled his rise there is now propelling his campaign for the White House, which is gaining momentum despite doubts from Republicans who urged him to wait.

Mr. Rubio has acknowledged that his ascent to one of the most powerful positions in Florida government was marred by what he called “a series of terrible blunders.” He sometimes failed to treat his colleagues with courtesy. There was the time, for example, that many of his fellow Republicans learned of his campaign for speaker from reading about it in The Miami Herald, because he had not bothered to tell them first.

And he appeared willing, his detractors said, to abandon the interests of his district if the end result was a political promotion for himself. His election to speaker was made possible, in part, because of a bargain he had made: In exchange for votes from northern Florida lawmakers, former legislators and aides said, he agreed not to fight a measure that increased money for school spending in less populated, rural regions of the state and reduced it in denser, high-cost areas like Miami.

“He saw his path to be speaker, and it came at the expense of his constituents, literally,” said Christian Ulvert, a Democratic strategist who worked as a legislative aide at the time.

Read the whole thing.

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