There were many contenders this week. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) came up with a background-check amendment that seemed both to do the least possible damage to lawful gun owners’ interests and to keep the legislative process alive. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took on the president’s foolish budget and then talked common sense to pro-life advocates. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) didn’t get it perfect at Howard University, but he began outreach that is long overdue. And there was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who turned a tape recording of a campaign meeting into political gold when it turned out that lefty publication Mother Jones got the tape from Progress Kentucky, which is now facing a heap of legal troubles. Although not a pol, Kirsten Powers deserves special recognition for forcing the MSM to cover the gruesome details of abortion doctor Kemitt Gosnell’s trial in Philadelphia.

Marco Rubio Sen. Marco Rubio (AFP/Getty Images)

Even with all those folks in the mix, the distinguished pol of the week is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who is single-handedly dragging immigration reform to the Senate floor (he’ll be on five Sunday shows today) and with it his own party into competition for a much wider segment of the electorate. He also found time to call for a new policy on Syria.

It is sometimes hard to remember that Rubio is a freshman senator and is not part of the GOP Senate leadership. He nevertheless has both the vision and determination to mold the party to his liking. He has assembled a presidential-quality staff to provide him with keen advice and solid policy analysis. No politician who has risen so dramatically in the last few months.

For all that, we can say, well done, senator.