Last November, I attended a Marco Rubio rally in Milwaukee with my mom and brother. Just as Marco was about to take the stage in front of a crammed room of supporters, my mom nudged me and said she was feeling faint.
Keep in mind, we were standing, packed like sardines, in the very front row. There wasn’t a chair in sight, and I didn’t think we could pick our way through the crowd to find one. As I was weighing the options, Marco began his speech. A few feet in front of me, a Rubio staffer herded a pack of photographers to the foot of the stage; I took the opportunity to tap him on the shoulder and quickly whisper the issue to him. No problem, he said, as he deftly helped her sit on the floor next to him, assuring me he’d take her to a chair momentarily.
After they left my sight, he did just that. Another staff member brought her cold water, and a volunteer checked on her often for the duration of the rally. She was incredibly well taken care of, and recovered quickly.
When Marco’s speech ended, he and his wife Jeanette chatted and took pictures with the crowd. It occurred to me that I had no idea where my mom had been taken or how to find her; I asked Jeantte, who I’d been talking with, if she might point me in the direction of who I should connect with to find out. She immediately offered to track her down herself. I started to protest, but she waved me off with a smile, insisting it was no problem. And then, the would-be First Lady set off to find my mom.
As it turns out, my mom found us instead. As I was telling her that Jeanette Rubio was off looking for her, she reappeared. We laughed about it together, Jeanette made sure my mom was feeling alright, and we thanked her for her kindness and the superb care given by the Rubio campaign staff.
Our experience with Jeanette gave me some valuable insight into the Rubios themselves. Because while theirs is a family that’s been catapulted onto the national stage, they haven’t lost the human touch that makes them so relatable. The moment I sheepishly explained my predicament to Jeanette, she went into “mom mode.” As a mother myself, I recognized it immediately. Suddenly, the most important thing was reuniting a lost little 31-year-old girl with her mommy, Presidential campaign or not.
While I sense Jeanette Rubio to be a bit of a reluctant campaigner, I’m certain she’s an invaluable asset to both her husband and the campaign itself. She’s compassionate. She’s kind. She’s a problem solver. She’s a mom.
She’s a woman all Americans would be proud to call their First Lady.