Bob Buckhorn rules out running for Governor in '14; shouldn't Rod Smith do the same thing?

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On Sunday’s broadcast of Bay News 9’s Political Connections, Bob Buckhorn, the new Democrat Mayor of Tampa, unequivocally ruled out running for Governor of Florida in 2014. Because I was pretty much the first person outside of the Buckhorn household to suggest he consider running,I am particularly disappointed Bob is, for now, taking himself out of consideration.

But what I am more disappointed with is that Florida Democratic Party Chair Rod Smith has yet to do the same thing.

Last weekend, in an exclusive interview with my colleague Joy Reid of The Reid Report, Smith would not rule outa possible gubernatorial run in 2014, which I think is a tactical mistake. Smith needs to avoid the path of Scott Maddox, who tried to parlay his, um, leadership of the Florida Democratic Party into statewide office. Using the chairmanship of the FDP as a platform for higher office is a recipe for disaster — for both Smith and the Democratic Party. After all, why should Alex Sink, Dave Aronberg, etc., go out of their to make Smith look good as FDP Chair if all he is going to do is turn around and run against them in a 2014 primary?

Smith could be so much more effective in his current job if he, like Cortez, burned his ships at the shore and explored his current job as if were in unchartered territory. Keep moving forward, Rod. Forward!

By the way, Mr. Chairman, stop blaming ALL of the Democrats’ woes on Florida’s misshapen congressional and legislative districts. They are certainly part of the party’s problems, but, asthe Orlando Sentinel reported, researches from Stanford University and the University of Michigan presented a yearlong study of where Florida voters live that ran thousands of complex simulations of elections in computer-drawn contiguous and compact districts. And what did they come up with?

Their models found that even using maps drawn by nonpolitical algorithms, Republicans would still win 59 percent of all the districts.

That? basically because more Democratic voters live in concentrated clusters in urban cores, while Republican voters are spread out along the suburban and exurban landscape, they concluded.

?heir [Democrats’] larger problem is with the extreme concentration of support in cities, and the constitutional reforms will

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.