The issue … is that Rubio has worked to sell the “average guy with debt” storyline even while doing things that average folks don’t do — like buy a boat. (Whether it was a fishing boat, as Rubio’s allies argue, or a “luxury speed boat” as the Times described it, is sort of beside the point.)
Rubio is not a regular guy. (Side note: No one running for president is.) He got an $800,000 advance for his book, which, as someone who has written a book, I can tell you, is not average. Rubio used some of that $800,000 to pay off his student loans, to pay legal fees and, yes, to splurge on a boat.
That’s all totally fine. If Rubio wants a boat, he can buy a boat. The issue for Rubio is that he is investing so much of his appeal on his “I have lived the American Dream” story that he necessarily has to accept that that story will be inspected closely to see what it tells us about him and how he might run the government if he is entrusted with doing so.