GOP convention winners and losers, from Condoleezza Rice to Clint Eastwood (+video)

By , Staff writer , Staff writer

3. Winner: Hispanic Republicans

In the GOP’s eagerness to appear an inclusive party, it sometimes seemed like every prominent female and minority politician – and quite a few less-than-prominent ones – were offered speaking spots at the convention.

The group that clearly has the most rising stars? Hispanics. (This category was going to read "Hispanic governors" until US Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida spoke Thursday night and blew everyone away.)

Governors Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico), and Susana Martinez (New Mexico) all held their own, and Governor Martinez, in particular, told a moving personal story, reached out eloquently to Latinos, and offered a good warm-up for Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

But Senator Rubio really wowed the crowd with his ease and oratory, coming off as the future of his party.

He spoke eloquently about his grandfather, who came here from Cuba and instilled in him the notion of America as an “exceptional” country, where there was no limit to how far he could go, and managed to criticize Obama without sounding nasty.

“Our problem with Barack Obama isn’t that he’s a bad person,” Rubio said. “Our problem is he’s a bad president.”

The party knows it needs to reach out to Latino voters if it wants to survive; watch for all these talented politicians to go places.

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