TIME politics

How a Hug Jump-Started Marco Rubio’s Career

Marco Rubio
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Marco Rubio speaks about Cuba during a Cuban Independence Day Celebration at the InterContinental Hotel May 23, 2008, in Miami

The Florida Senator was helped along by a politically perilous PDA

Monday promises to be a big day for Marco Rubio: the Florida Senator has said that he’ll announce whether he plans to run in the next election, and for what.

It was only a little more than five years ago that Rubio took the big risk that brought him to the precipice of a potential presidential candidacy. He had spent nearly a decade in the Florida state legislature but, in mid-2009, was not in office. In mid 2009, Florida’s governor Charlie Crist seemed to have the race locked up to become Florida’s next Senator. Then, after Barack Obama won the White House, Crist appeared at an event with the new President and exchanged a hug.

Rubio, as TIME’s David von Drehle recounted in a 2010 cover story about the changing Republican party, saw his chance:

Another Florida Republican had a different idea. His name was Marco Rubio. He was the baby-faced former speaker of the Florida legislature. Well-wired Floridians knew that Rubio was thinking about challenging Crist for a seat in the U.S. Senate, and they also knew that this was quixotic because Crist had at least a 30-point lead in the polls, plus friends and money and endorsements from powerful Republicans around the country.

But Rubio saw an opportunity in that hug. If one possible Republican strategy was to embrace the Democratic spending agenda, surely there was a case to be made for opposing it. Rubio decided to “stand up to this Big Government agenda, not be co-opted by it,” and three months after The Hug, tossed his hat into the ring. The date was May 5, 2009.

Looking back, that was the day the 2010 election truly began–not just the campaign for a Senate seat from Florida but the broad national campaign for control of Congress and the direction of the country. Rubio’s decision to wage a philosophical battle for the soul of the Florida GOP was a catalyst for the surprising and outrageous events that followed. He became a darling of the nascent Tea Party movement and a point man in the movement’s purge of the GOP establishment. Rubio led the way for a dust-kicking herd of dark-horse candidates–some thoroughbreds, some nags. And most of all, Rubio symbolized the fact that this year’s midterms have become a referendum on such fundamental issues as the role of government and the size of the public debt.

Crist eventually dropped out of the Republican field to run as an Independent, but it was too late. Rubio won the Senate seat and was catapulted to the top rung of the Republican Party.

Read the 2010 cover story, here in the TIME archives: Party Crashers

Read next: Republican Candidates Didn’t Just Talk Guns at NRA Event

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TIME Hillary Clinton

5 Other Women Who Ran For President

Hillary Clinton Receives Emily's List Award
Win McNamee—Getty Images Hillary Clinton addresses the 30th Anniversary National Conference of Emily's List on March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Hillary Clinton is not the first

With the expected announcement Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for president in 2016, the Democratic Party has a female front-runner for the highest office in the land. But Clinton isn’t the first woman to run for president.

Here are five others who sought the White House:

Name: Victoria Woodhull

Year Ran: 1872

Party: Equal Rights Party

Votes: No official votes recorded

Platform: Universal suffrage, political reform, civil rights and social welfare

Victoria Woodhull ran for president nearly 50 years before the Nineteenth Amendment allowed women to vote in presidential elections. Though historians can’t agree on whether her name actually appeared on nationwide ballots (or whether she received any votes), they concur that her run was historic—not only was she the first woman to seek the office, but her running-mate, Frederick Douglass, was the first African-American ever nominated for Vice President.

She announced her run in a letter to the New York Herald in 1870: “I…claim the right to speak for the unenfranchised women of the country, and believing as I do that the prejudices which still exist in the popular mind against women in public life will soon disappear, I now announce myself as candidate for the Presidency.” But Woodhull was controversial and polarizing. A fierce believer in free love, she hated how society condemned liberated women, yet turned a blind eye to men’s dalliances. Her presidential run suffered a fatal blow when she was arrested on obscenity charges for writing an article about an adulterous love affair between Henry Ward Beecher, a powerful minister, and a parishioner just days before the election. Woodhull’s campaign was met with widespread derision, but it’s unclear if she could have taken office even if she had won—she was only 34 at the time of the election.

Name: Gracie Allen

Year Ran: 1940

Party: Surprise Party

Votes: Unknown

Platform: “Redwood, trimmed with nutty pine.”

Gracie Allen’s presidential run started as a stunt to generate publicity for her faltering radio show, the The Hinds Honey & Almond Cream Program Starring George Burns & Gracie Allen. During her satirical campaign, Allen used her ditzy persona to poke fun at the political system. The campaign included a mock party convention, a national whistle stop tour, an endorsement from Harvard University and an invitation from Eleanor Roosevelt to speak to the National Women’s Press Club.

“My opponents say they’re going to fight me ’til the cows come home,” she said in a campaign speech. “So, they admit the cows aren’t home. Why aren’t the cows home? Because they don’t like the conditions on the farm. The cows are smart. They’re not coming home ’til there’s a woman in the White House.” Though Allen did receive write-in votes, historians can’t agree on the number.

Name: Shirley Chisholm

Year Ran: 1972

Party: Democrat

Votes: 152 delegate votes in the Democratic primary

Platform: Equal rights and economic justice

Shirley Chisholm had already made history as the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968, though she admitted that “sometimes I have trouble, myself, believing that I made it this far against the odds.” In 1972 she decided to defy the odds again when she made a serious bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Chisholm called herself “the candidate of the people,” but struggled for acceptance as a viable candidate. Her disorganized and underfunded campaign didn’t help—though she was fourth place for the nomination at the Democratic National Convention, she lost to Governor George McGovern (who in turn lost to Richard Nixon). Though Chisholm was not the first woman to vie for the Democratic nomination, she was the most viable up until that time—but though Chisholm is respected for her political role today (she even appeared on a stamp in 2014), she was never taken as seriously as during her lifetime as Clinton is today.

Name: Linda Jenness

Year Ran: 1972

Party: Socialist Workers Party

Votes: 83,380

Platform: Women’s liberation, no more war in Vietnam

1972 was a very good year for women presidential hopefuls, and Linda Jenness, a secretary from Atlanta, joined their ranks as the Socialist Workers Party’s candidate. Jenness actually shared the nomination with another female candidate, Evelyn Reed, who ran in her place in states where Jenness did not qualify for the ballot due to her age.

Though Jenness repeatedly challenged Democratic nominee George McGovern to a debate, he refused. Jenness predicted her own defeat, declaring that “the Socialists do not fool themselves that they have a chance of winning any major victories this year.” She was right—but she still managed to garner over 83,000 votes despite tepid press and struggles to finance her campaign.

Name: Jill Stein

Year Ran: 2012

Party: Green Party

Votes: 469,015

Platform: Green jobs and environmental protections

As a third-party candidate in a raucous election year, Jill Stein’s 2012 presidential run felt more like an afterthought than a milestone. But in fact, Stein’s presidential candidacy was the most successful ever conducted by a woman.

A physician who specializes in environmental health, Stein ran for president after two unsuccessful bids for the office of governor of Massachusetts. “People ask me why I keep fighting political battles in a rigged system,” she said in a 2012 speech. “The answer is simple. I keep fighting because when it comes to our children, mothers don’t give up.” Though Stein only managed to grab 0.36 percent of the popular vote, she still hasn’t given up—she has already announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a 2016 run.

TIME Hillary Clinton

These People Have Been ‘Ready for Hillary’ Since 1992

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Cynthia Johnson—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Hillary Rodham Clinton during her husband's 1992 campaign

The idea that she should run is more than two decades old

With Hillary Clinton’s expected announcement Sunday that she will run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, her supporters who have declared themselves “Ready for Hillary” will finally have the chance to see whether the rest of the country is ready and willing too.

But, though that Super PAC is only about two years old, some people were ready for her to run since more than two decades ago.

When her husband Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, Hillary’s smarts—and her divisive comments about how she didn’t want her political-wife role to mean just sitting at home—drew frequent questions about whether she had the aspiration to run for office herself, perhaps as her husband’s Vice President. As the election approached, the idea of her political prospects didn’t go away. In fact, TIME’s September 1992 cover story about “The Hillary Factor” began thusly: “You might think Hillary Clinton was running for President.”

And some readers, it appeared, would not have minded if that had been the case, as this October 1992 letter to TIME, from Linda M. Mason of Mount Laurel, N.J., shows: “History will vindicate Hillary, for she is guilty only of being capable of serving as President herself.”

Even the experts agreed. In a story shortly after Clinton won the election, John Robert Starr, a conservative newspaper columnist from Arkansas, told TIME that “the best thing that could happen would be to let Hillary run the country. I know that sounds ridiculous, but she has just never failed.”

By 1993, TIME was reporting that “one poll had found that 40% of Americans believe Hillary is ‘smarter’ than her Rhodes scholar husband, and 47% think she is qualified to be President.”

And even Hillary Clinton herself hinted in the ’90s that voters should keep an eye on female candidates, if not on herself. Asked about the role of the First Lady in 1996, she conceded that the position was complicated one. “I think the answer is to just be who you are,” she said, “and do what you can do and get through it–and wait for a First Man to hold the position.”

Read the 1992 ‘Hillary Factor’ cover story, here in the TIME Vault: All Eyes on Hillary

TIME politics

This Is the Surprising MLK Speech That Rand Paul Likes to Quote

The quote comes from a 1967 speech MLK made at Stanford University

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul made use of one of his favorite quotations Tuesday, in the speech that launched his candidacy for President: “Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas,” he said. “He described them as ‘two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side.'”

It’s a quote that Paul has come back to time and again. In an op-ed he wrote for TIME in January, he wrote that the problems with the criminal-justice system brought that MLK remark to mind. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he broadened the use of the quote, in the same way he did Tuesday, to incorporate a wider opportunity gap he attributes to the effects of liberal policies.

And, though a politician quoting Martin Luther King Jr. is hardly controversial, it’s in some ways surprising that this particular speech is the one to which Paul is drawn.

The quotation comes from an April 14, 1967 speech delivered by the civil-rights leader at Stanford University. The speech, dubbed “The Other America,” addressed the emerging, new phase of the civil-rights movement, when great legislative gains had been made toward equality on paper, but the much more difficult goal of true equality was still to be achieved. It would be even harder to eliminate economic and educational injustice through governmental channels than it was to overcome segregation, he said, but just as important.

The solution, King declared, was twofold. On one hand, Americans would have to recognize the cause of justice on a personal level. On the other hand, they would have to recognize that although “morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated.” Requiring Americans to practice equality would instill habits that would eventually combat racism on a deeper level, he believed. Fair housing laws, for example, would be a start.

One of his other ideas for a legislative solution to poverty, however, was a little more extreme:

Now one of the answers it seems to me, is a guaranteed annual income, a guaranteed minimum income for all people, and for our families of our country. It seems to me that the Civil Rights movement must now begin to organize for the guaranteed annual income. Begin to organize people all over our country, and mobilize forces so that we can bring to the attention of our nation this need, and this is something which I believe will go a long long way toward dealing with the Negro’s economic problem and the economic problem which many other poor people confront in our nation. Now I said I wasn’t going to talk about Vietnam, but I can’t make a speech without mentioning some of the problems that we face there because I think this war has diverted attention from civil rights. It has strengthened the forces of reaction in our country and has brought to the forefront the military-industrial complex that even President Eisenhower warned us against at one time. And above all, it is destroying human lives. It’s destroying the lives of thousands of the young promising men of our nation. It’s destroying the lives of little boys and little girls In Vietnam.

But one of the greatest things that this war is doing to us in Civil Rights is that it is allowing the Great Society to be shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam every day. And I submit this afternoon that we can end poverty in the United States. Our nation has the resources to do it. The National Gross Product of America will rise to the astounding figure of some $780 billion this year. We have the resources: The question is, whether our nation has the will, and I submit that if we can spend $35 billion a year to fight an ill-considered war in Vietnam, and $20 billion to put a man on the moon, our nation can spend billions of dollars to put God’s children on their own two feet right here on earth.

A guaranteed annual income would seem extremely unlikely to appeal to Paul, who launched his presidential campaign with a promise of a smaller, less intrusive government. But it’s not impossible that he might consider such a radical move. Just last year, when Switzerland introduced the idea of a similar program, some U.S. conservatives said they saw it as one way to streamline otherwise-bulky programs to combat poverty. Who’s to say whether “the most interesting man in American politics” might agree?

TIME politics

What the Supreme Court Could Say About Ted Cruz’s Canadian Past

US-VOTE-REPUBLICANS
Paul J. Richards—AFP/Getty Images US Senator Ted Cruz( R-TX) smiles at the crowd while delivering remarks announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination to run for US president March 23, 2015, inside the full Vine Center at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va.

The 'natural born citizen' clause has never really been tested

When Sen. Ted Cruz launched his presidential campaign Monday at Liberty University, he began by telling his parents’ stories of immigration from Cuba, on his father’s part, and overcoming the odds at home, on his mother’s part. One much-discussed element of Cruz’s personal story, however, got only a brief nod: “When I was three, my father decided to leave my mother and me,” Cruz told the audience. “We were living in Calgary at the time.”

Calgary, though part of Cruz’s American story, is not in the United States; it’s in Alberta, Canada. Though Cruz was born in Alberta, he only learned as an adult that his birthplace gave him Canadian citizenship, which he officially renounced last summer.

Though it’s a common misconception, being born in Canada does not necessarily exclude Cruz, the child of an American citizen, from the White House. In fact, he’s one of many potential presidents over the years who have been born abroad.

The confusing constitutional clause behind that misconception — “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President,” per Article II — most recently made news with the campaigns of John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone. As the New York Times laid out during his 2008 campaign, being born to a military officer in a military zone, as McCain was, was seen as largely uncontroversial, even though legal experts still debate whether “natural born” means “born in the U.S.” or merely “not naturalized later in life.” The real issue is that the Supreme Court has never really had to say either way. The natural-born citizen qualification is untested in practice, and it’s not even clear who would have legal standing to challenge a president like McCain or Cruz on that matter.

Further, as TIME explained in a 1962 article about the candidacy of George Romney (Mitt Romney’s father, who was born in Mexico because his grandfather had fled there to avoid U.S. antipolygamy laws), that hypothetical legal challenger would have a tough case:

His Mexican birth has raised some questions about Romney’s constitutional qualifications for the presidency. Article Two of the Constitution specifies that only a “natural-born citizen” is eligible. Some legal authorities say that this means only those born on U.S. soil. But a law enacted by the first Congress in 1790 stipulated that children born of U.S. citizens beyond the boundaries of the country “shall be considered as natural-born citizens of the U.S.”

In theory, that 1790 law could be unconstitutional too, were the natural-born citizen issue to make it to the Supreme Court — but, on this count, Cruz has an even harsher challenger to overcome. Nobody who would have provided the opportunity to put the law to the test has ever actually won the election. Other born-abroad politicians in the Times round-up include a Connecticut Senator born in Paris and FDR’s son Franklin Jr., who was born in Canada.

The closest the country has ever come to having a President not born on its soil (or, alternatively, living there at the time of the founding) was in the late 1800s, with Chester A. Arthur — maybe.

Arthur ended up in the White House in 1881, having served as the Vice-President for James Garfield, who died of complications from wounds sustained during an attempted (and ultimately successful) assassination. Though Arthur’s official biography at the White House lists his birthdate as 1829 and the place as Fairfield, Vt., both the year and the place have been challenged over the years. As the Associated Press explained in a 2009 story about the Chester A. Arthur Historic Site — his purported birthplace — rivals claimed that Arthur was actually born in Canada, where his mother’s family lived.

Records from the 1820s were predictably shoddy, and there has never been any way to prove 100% where Arthur was born. Should Cruz win the race in 2016, he’ll be the first President definitely born in Canada — and the first definite chance, unlikely though it may be, for the Supreme Court to test and define the clause in question.

Read next: How Ted Cruz is Using Spanish in His Presidential Campaign

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TIME Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s President Concedes Defeat in a Major Poll Upset

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa listens to a speech during his final rally ahead of presidential election in Piliyandala
Dinuka Liyanawatte—Reuters Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa listens to a speech during his final rally ahead of the presidential election in Piliyandala, Sri Lanka, on Jan. 5, 2015

Mahinda Rajapaksa, dogged by allegations of corruption and authoritarianism, ends a decade in power

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa ended a decade in power on Friday, conceding defeat in a midterm election. He didn’t expect to lose, but found himself vacating his residence after polls showed his challenger Maithripala Sirisena with over 51% of the vote, Reuters reported.

Sirisena, a former minister in Rajapaksa’s government, defected to the opposition in November, and used his anticorruption stance as the cornerstone for his campaign.

He pledged that his first act in office would be to weaken the very presidency that had allowed Rajapaksa to consolidate a huge amount of power, and reportedly plans to hold fresh parliamentary elections within 100 days of being sworn in.

Rajapaksa was re-elected in 2010. He initially came to power in 2005, riding a wave of popularity after defeating the Tamil Tigers separatist group and ending the country’s violent civil war, but his administration was dogged by allegations of corruption and authoritarianism.

Rajapaksa abolished the two-term limit on the presidency to allow himself to run for a third time, and then called Thursday’s snap elections two years before his second term ended — a move that backfired badly.

The violence against opposition supporters that marred the lead-up to the polls was absent on Friday, as the outgoing President asked opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to ensure a smooth handover of power.

“People need a change and this is a democracy,” a government official and close Rajapaksa ally said.

[Reuters]

TIME Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Strongman President Could Be Facing a Poll Upset

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa gestures to the media after casting his vote for the presidential election, in Medamulana
Dinuka Liyanawatte—REUTERS Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa gestures to the media after casting his vote for the presidential election, in Medamulana, January 8, 2015.

Two months ago it looked like it would be landslide victory for Mahinda Rajapaksa, but now things are far from certain

Sri Lanka went to the polls on Thursday, kicking off an election that could result in the biggest shake-up of its government in over a decade.

Thousands lined up to vote at more than 12,000 polling stations across the country after the polls opened at 7 a.m. local time, with local media reporting that most districts had showed a turnout of 30 to 40% within the first three hours.

The snap election was called by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in November, about two years before the conclusion of his second term, with a view to consolidating the power and control he has been steadily centralizing since he first took the helm in 2005. Rajapaksa’s decisive re-election in 2010, following the 2009 defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers that ended a 26-year civil war, has been bolstered by steady economic growth and stability in the past four years.

But the straightforward victory he anticipated while calling the election is far from certain, and the president has been reduced to urging voters to elect him, “the devil they know,” over an “unknown angel,” as Reuters reports.

The unknown angel he refers to is Mithripala Sirisena, a former minister and key Rajapaksa lieutenant whose sudden defection in November blindsided the president and was followed by an exodus of dozens of others. The hitherto fractured opposition has since rallied behind Sirisena, who promises to crack down on the corruption and nepotism that many say has set in under Rajapaksa’s rule. His son and two brothers rule alongside him, and several relatives occupy key posts in what academic Razeen Sally called the country’s “one-family show” in a Wall Street Journal column last month.

Should it come to power, the Sirisena-led opposition reportedly plans to do away with the presidency altogether and revert to a British-style parliamentary democracy, according to the Financial Times, undoing the constitutional reforms that allowed Rajapaksa to run for an unprecedented third term.

While Rajapaksa is relying on an uptick in Sri Lanka’s economic growth and the support of the Sinhalese Buddhist majority, Sirisena enjoys an almost unequivocal backing from the island nation’s minority groups including Hindus, Muslims and Christians. The former government minister’s anti-corruption stance has reportedly also appealed to a section of the Sinhalese population, and might just be enough to ensure an upset win.

Thursday’s voting has been dogged by reports of violence against opposition supporters, with organizations like Amnesty International and even the U.S. government expressing concerns. But Election Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, remained confident that there would be no foul play. “Don’t worry about this election, this election will be free and fair,” he told reporters.

Rajapaksa told media he was confident of a win, after casting his vote on Thursday morning. “We will have a resounding victory. That is very clear,” he said.

The truth is anything but.

TIME 2016 Election

Jeb Bush Quits Board Memberships in Advance of Likely White House Run

Jeb Bush at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colo., on Oct. 29, 2014.
Melina Mara—The Washington Post/Getty Images Jeb Bush at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colo., on Oct. 29, 2014

Cutting those ties could be preparation for scrutiny in a Republican primary

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has resigned all corporate and nonprofit board memberships, his office announced late Wednesday night, signaling that his preparations for a possible run at the White House in 2016 are picking up steam.

If he runs, Bush is likely to be a favorite of the GOP establishment. Divesting himself of his various nonprofit and business interests, some of which have made him quite wealthy, could be part of a strategy to shield him from criticisms similar to those leveled at Mitt Romney during his run in 2012.

Read more at The Washington Post

READ MORE: The One Issue That Will Complicate Jeb Bush’s Campaign

TIME Greece

Greek Parliamentary Vote May Lead to Snap Elections and a Derailed Bailout

GREECE-POLITICS-ECONOMY-PARLIAMENT-VOTE
Aris Messinis—AFP/Getty Images People walk past the Greek Parliament in Athens on Dec. 17, 2014. Greece is a step away from early elections that could repudiate its international bailout and rekindle a euro-zone crisis after lawmakers failed to elect a President

Antiausterity left-wing party rides high in polls

The Greek Parliament is holding a vote Monday that will decide whether the country will go to snap elections, possibly bringing to power the left-wing Syriza party that has vowed to renegotiate the battered country’s international bailout.

The vote is the third and final round to elect a new President. Failure to do so will trigger polls by early February, reports Reuters.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ nominee Stavros Dimas runs unopposed, but needs 12 more votes to secure the necessary supermajority.

Syriza is leading the opinion polls, buoyed by its objections to the present terms of the joint E.U.-IMF rescue package and a promise to review austerity measures taken in the country since the financial crisis of 2009.

“In Europe, sentiment is changing,” Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras wrote in his party newspaper Sunday. “Everyone is getting used to the idea that Syriza will be the government and that new negotiations will begin.”

[Reuters]

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