"Rock star" Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) "could be the Republican vice presidential candidate from central casting," says David Adams at Reuters. He's "telegenic, Hispanic, and a fiscal conservative who has been embraced by the Tea Party." Rubio is viewed as a near-lock for the GOP ticket, and both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have said Rubio is on their short lists. They may want to think again, Adams argues. The conservative Rubio, who rails against Washington for "piling up debt," is underwater on his Miami home, "and at times has had difficulty paying his mortgage." After an IRS investigation of the Florida GOP, an "embarrassed" Rubio had to pony up $16,000 because he frequently "used his party credit card for personal use." And his inspiring back story — "Rubio initially cast himself as the U.S.-born son of Cuban immigrants who fled Fidel Castro's revolution in 1959" — is something of a sham. Rubio's parents left Cuba years before Castro took power. To top it all off, many analysts doubt Rubio can actually deliver Hispanic votes. Here, an excerpt:
[Rubio] has not endeared himself to Hispanic voters on several fronts, analysts say.
In Congress he opposed the so-called DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, and he expressed support for a harsh immigration law in Arizona.
Rubio also voted against Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's Supreme Court nominee who is of Puerto Rican descent...[and] voted against Obama's health care overhaul, which is popular among many low-income Hispanics.
"He's on the wrong side on every issue that matters to Hispanics," said Fernand Amandi with Bendixen & Amandi, a political consulting firm in Miami that has been retained by the Obama campaign. "He's going to have to answer to those positions."