For many, Labor Day symbolizes the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. As such, I think its an appropriate moment to offer a status check on all things political in Florida. In other words, here is where shit stands, from Barack Obama to St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, in 100 words or less per topic:
As always, Obama needs Florida. But I’ll stick by my prediction that at some point in October, 2012, the Obama Campaign will shift its resources out of Florida and re-allocate them to the Midwest.
Does this guy realize he needs to campaign for president, not just be anointed the GOP nominee? His presence in Florida is completely lackluster for a presumed front-runner; Romney’s team in Florida doesn’t have as much political juice as Jon Huntsman’s staff, much less Rick Perry’s. And what will it say about Romney when he finishes fourth or fifth or worse in the Republican Party of Florida’s straw poll later this month?
That sound you hear is Rick Perry sucking all of the oxygen out of the race. With Dean Cannon and Co.’s endorsement, Rick Scott’s winking nod of approval and the best political team (Enwright, Heffley, Rimes) in Florida, Cowboy will lasso the Sunshine State.
By saving Nancy Reagan from falling, Rubio’s myth only continues to grow. The political press says he is every candidate’s first choice for the VP slot, although it is doubtful any of them really want Rubio stealing their thunder. But the real threat was Rubio’s recent speech in which he said the creation of Social Security had ‘weakened’ America.
I had the misfortune of hearing Nelson speak at a recent luncheon hosted by St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. I kid you not, it was the most boring speech I had ever heard from a major-office elected official. It’s a testament to how weak the GOP field is that none of Nelson’s prospective opponents are polling ahead of him.
The more Hasner tries to be like Marco Rubio, the less Hasner reminds folks of Marco Rubio. Still, isn’t he the eventual nominee? If nothing else, consultant Rick Wilson may will it so just through the sheer force of his personality (and the help of Hasner’s many online allies).
Nothing inspires more fear in Tallahassee than the return of Charlie Crist. But will there actually be a return? Crist would have to become a Democrat, he’d have to win a Democratic primary and he has to hope that Rick Scott is his opponent, because Crist would have problems against Pam Bondi or Adam Putnam, if they were to primary Scott. For all those (of us) holding out hope for the return of Governor Sunshine, he’s gonna have to start showing a little leg.
No matter what Steve MacNamara conjures up, the Guv just doesn’t have a reservoir of good will deep enough to sustain whatever momentum Scott’s doughnuts-and-interviews tour had hoped to build. Oh, by the way, where are the emails?
All the worst fears about Bondi’s inability to manage the Attorney General’s office appear to be coming true. That’s disappointing, because Bondi was off to a strong start. Even if she rights the ship, she’s knocked herself out of the unofficial race of potential candidates ready to primary Rick Scott, unlike…
If you are fundraising in Tampa Bay in September 2011 and have hired a re-election campaign staff, including a notable Republican public relations operative, how can any observer not conclude that you are preparing to primary Rick Scott in 2014?
It’s easy to say that the Senate President is going to be the person-to-watch next legislative session, but that’s exactly how I see Haridopolos, who has to be the first presiding officer to launch a statewide campaign and see said campaign thwarted while still holding the gavel. Not only is he the person to watch, he could be the most dangerous. After all, what does Haridopolos have to lose?
I don’t know anything about Dean Cannon you don’t know — and he likes it that way.
Am not sure what he is going to be a candidate for in 2012, but as his legislative career draws to a close, sainthood may not be out of the realm of possibility. Am every excited to see what Senator ‘God Bless’ has in store for his final session.
Here’s a though that should will send shudders along Adams Street: In 2015, imagine the governor’s office occupied by Democrat Charlie Crist and the Florida Senate presided over by Jack Latvala. Not predicting that’s what’s going to happen, but just the thought of it should be good for a fundraising letter or two. As an aside, anyone else surprised by Latvala’s decision to show his cards this early?
The rumors of Baker being recruited to run for the Florida Senate just will not die. Of course, I don’t know why he doesn’t just run for Mayor of St. Petersburg again in 2013. Baker would beat Bill Foster by a bigger margin than the number he hung on Ed Helm in 2005.
‘Mayor Milquetoast.’ ‘Minor-league Mayor.’ These are just two of the epithets recently used to describe the Mayor of St. Petersburg, who is gambling the future of his administration with his hard-line stance in negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays over the location of a new baseball stadium. Mostly solving the homelessness issue should have been enough to guarantee a second-term, but if the right candidate were to emerge, I’m no longer sure.