As reality sets in, will Rubio’s rise taper off?

Today we're going to talk about which of your congressional reps are the most liberal and conservative — and hear what you guys had to say about driving on the beach in Daytona.

But first, a prediction: Marco Rubio has peaked.

The best thing our dimpled dynamo had going for his bid to become Florida's next U.S. senator was that nobody knew anything about him.

That allowed him to become the latest darling of the Tea Party devotees, who were so desperate for a messiah that they were willing to believe every one of Rubio's claptrap claims about being a fiscally conservative outsider.

Unfortunately for him, Rubio is running headfirst into his own track record.

Story after story keeps revealing the former House speaker as one of politics' more lavish spenders.

There were reports of renovations of a private dining room for him and his legislative buddies, $100,000 worth of charges to the GOP credit card, pricey hotel stays, plane trips, reports of a $1,800 limousine bill, repairs to his family car, a $134 barbershop bill … the list goes on.

Some of it tax money. Some of it from special interests. Very little of it his own.

Meanwhile, Marco continues to preach his gospel of fiscal conservatism, telling everyone else they should suck it up.

He's the Tea Party's Wizard of Oz — only Toto hasn't pulled the curtains all the way back yet.

True fiscal conservatives, after all, can't like the hypocrisy any more than anyone else.

Rubio may well still beat back the befuddled Charlie Crist. But his meteoric rise, and 32-point leads, will start shrinking under the bright lights of reality.

How far right — and left?

So which party is full of extremists when it comes to our local congressional delegation?

The answer: Neither.

So says the National Journal, which recently tracked key votes from 2009 and then ranked every single member of the U.S. House, based on the vote's political leaning.

Locally, the Republican with the most-conservative voting record was John Mica (58th out of 177 House Republicans nationwide). Most-liberal honors went to Corrine Brown (86th out of 253 Dems).

What may disappoint some of the Republicans trying to boot out Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas is that the nonpartisan Journal determined those two actually had some of the more-conservative voting records among Democrats. In fact, the publication called both "centrists," with Grayson ranking 170th and Kosmas way down at 216th.

Conversely, Republican Ginny Brown-Waite ranked as one of the more-moderate Republicans (151st).

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