Marco Rubio finished a strong third in last week’s Iowa caucuses. How about learning more about his wife, Jeanette?
I’ll confess that all I really knew about Jeanette Rubio was that she a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. And, that led me to think of her as … hmmmm, how can I say this politely? I assumed that she was probably gorgeous, and yet perhaps a bit snooty and shallow.
I’m happy to learn after some research that there’s more to Jeanette Rubio than short skirts and pompoms. In fact, her cheerleader stint lasted just a year. A fellow cheerleader described Jeanette as “more introverted than 95% of the team,” calling her “not the cheerleader type.” Hmm. I’m liking her more already. No offense to any cheerleaders out there.
Jeanette Dousdebes — Early Years
Jeanette Dousdebes was born to parents who were Colombian immigrants (can’t find the exact date, but the nearest guess is in 1974). Her parents divorced when she was six. She went to South Miami High School, where she met fellow student Marco Rubio. She was a cheerleader, he was on the football team. Jeanette attended Miami Dade College, but did not complete a degree.
After dating for seven years, Marco proposed in an impressive fashion — knowing that Jeanette loved the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” Marco took Jeanette to New York, to the Empire State Building’s observation deck (a scene from the film), and proposed with a diamond ring. She said yes, and the couple married in 1998, in the Catholic Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Florida. Marco was 27, Jeanette 24. Always outgoing, Marco sang “My Way” during the ceremony. Today, they have four children, Anthony, Amanda, Daniella, and Dominick, currently aged 8 to 15.
Jeanette Rubio — Hobbies & Interests
The Rubios’ children have kept Jeanette busy. The oldest currently attends a Catholic high school, and the younger three are students in a private Christian school. Jeanette hosts a weekly Bible study at her home. The family attends services both at the Catholic Church of the Little Flower, and at Christ Fellowship, an evangelical megachurch in Miami.
Several friends have described Jeanette as shy. She does not give speeches, unlike some other political spouses, and rumor has it that she is not even particularly interested in politics. She has skipped voting several times, and is mainly interested in giving her children the stable childhood she lacked.Marco Rubio — Wife on the Campaign Trail?
Even if Marco Rubio becomes the Republican nominee, you still may not see a lot of his wife. “I’m not pushing myself out there. I need to be with (the) kids just to give them that balance,” Jeanette Rubio has said. “In the future, if I have to do it, of course I’ll do it. But in general, I am shy.”
Many have called Jeanette a positive influence on her husband. When Marco was a state representative, Jeanette often traveled to Tallahassee with the children to remind him of his family responsibilities — when many other lawmakers were busy drinking and deal-making in the state capital. A fellow politician called the sight of all the Rubios in the capital offices “refreshing.” When Rubio was elected to the Senate, Jeanette instructed his aides to schedule him home in the evenings whenever possible.
Rubio has expressed his wife’s sacrifice for his career, saying “My political career has deprived her of the settled, predictable family life she longed for.” Hang on, Jeanette — things might get more unpredictable in the coming months!
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