Recently, I had the pleasure of running into state Sen. Dave Aronberg, whom I asked which GOP candidate would he rather face in the general: Holly Benson, Pam Bondi or Jeff Kottkamp. Of course he didn’t take the bait and actually answer the question, but while we were talking I began to ask myself: Has Pam Bondi recovered yet from her poor performance at Suncoast Tiger Bay and the subsequent media coverage about her spotty voting record?
Of course, I will be voting for the Democratic Attorney General candidate in the general election, but I’m still intrigued by this race. Up until her performance at Tiger Bay, Bondi seemed to be gaining the momentum in the race, despite being down a few points in a poll that basically said voters did not know who any of the candidates were. Bondi was racking up endorsements and winning straw ballots. Conventional wisdom was coalescing around the idea of a telegenic Bondi beating the demure Benson and the folksy Kottkamp.
But then she ran into the Tiger Bay buzz-saw. Not only did she look like a deer-in-the-headlights when talking about how she voted on 2008’s Amendment 1, she also botched answers to several other questions. Then she got hit with a series of blog posts and news articles revealing she had not voted in two of the last three elections.
And that’s the last we’ve seen of Pam Bondi.
It’s been three weeks since her appearance at Tiger Bay and Bondi has yet to regain the initiative. Sure, she’s raising some money and, last week, she issued a challenge to her GOP opponents to debate her.
But after performance at Tiger Bay, I wonder whether a public debate is the kind of event Bondi should be scheduling.