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Marco Rubio: Celebrity.

This week, political junkies made much of Sen. Marco Rubio's sudden re-emergence in the national media after three months of almost total silence. Some people -- by which I mean "I" -- thought Rubio's invisibility was a sign that his celebrity had ebbed -- that he'd permanently ceded star power to Florida's more voluble Republicans, Rick Scott and Allen West. Not so!

Marco Rubio is back, folks. His ascension to celebritude began Monday, when he emerged as the Senate's most outspoken critic of "continuing budget resolutions" -- stop-gap legislation, which allows the government to remain in business as leaders hash out an agreeable budget. He'd lent his signature to a letter opposing such resolutions the previous week, but it wasn't until Monday that he took the fight to the airwaves, giving smart, poised, and angry interviews to Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.

And then -- bam! He was everywhere! Receiving presidential endorsements from Rush Limbaugh; getting shortlisted for the 2012 Veep spot by political prophet Larry J. Sabato; even emerging as a passionate Libya hawk in an encounter with the State Department. The blogosphere went wild, and across the nation, the name "Marco Rubio" issued from Republican lips like a little prayer. Unless something very weird happens, we'll be hearing that name a lot more in the weeks to come.

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Brandon K. Thorp

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