On Tuesday, the left-leaning Daily Kos trashed Phil Levine, calling the Miami Beach mayor a “Trump-praising Democrat” who could “hurt the party’s chance” to win the Florida Governor race.
This is not only misleading, but it is also inaccurate.
Apart from the unlikelihood that any Democrat would actually praise Trump, the accompanying article limited its focus a comment by Levine on FOX Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Show (another ill-advised move for a Democrat seeking higher office): “So far the president has done a very good job.”
What the Daily Kos took out of context was that Levine – a friend and surrogate of both Bill and Hillary Clinton who frequently blasted Trump in the campaign – was discussing the president’s well-received recent speech in Poland, and not his overall performance.
Also going unmentioned: Levine’s established Democratic positions, particularly on issues such as Medicaid expansion, climate change, minimum wage increase and more.
Indeed, Kilmeade even cut him off when Levine said: “It’s the funniest thing in the world to be an economic adviser to Donald Trump. That’s kind of like letting the arsonist run the fire department.”
Nevertheless, over the course of his political career, Levine has made many enemies, meaning he will have an uphill battle if he decides to run for governor, which he has not.
One thing Levine does have, if he should choose to run, is a lot of money.
“Levine is certainly fundraising like he’s running for higher office,” Kos writes. “Reportedly worth $100 million, the mayor raised $225,000 from donors in July and gave his own campaign another $275,000, bringing his total self-funding to $2.6 million this cycle.”
“That pace already puts Levine at the front of the pack financially,” the piece concludes, “ahead of every top-tier Democrat who’s announced already.”
Now would again be an appropriate time to repeat that Levine has not announced any further ambition, political or otherwise, beyond his recent SiriusXM “real Florida” listening tour. And if he does, it certainly wouldn’t be at the expense of the party’s chances of winning the Florida governors’ race.