Media coverage of ‘Presidency 5’ for 8/19

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If you think the battle for the Republican presidential nomination has been a wild ride so far, hang on — it could get even more exciting.

Five presidential debates are scheduled to be held in September and October, including two hosted and produced by CNN. A debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in southern California on September 7 is followed by a CNN debate in Tampa on September 12, and then followed by another Florida debate on September 22. A New Hampshire debate on October 11 is followed a week later by another CNN debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 18.
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s meteoric rise to front-runner status in the Republican presidential hunt will not take her to the Presidency 5 Straw Poll event in Florida in September.
Though Bachmann will participate in a Fox News debate just days earlier, the decision to skip the Sunshine State’s straw poll has Floridians scratching their heads.
Florida-based media consultant Rick Wilson told The Daily Caller, “If you’re ready for prime-time, you’ll be at Presidency 5.  If not, well, good luck with that whole regional campaign thing.”
And Brian Hughes, Communications Director for the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), flat-out called Bachmann’s decision a “bad move.”
Florida Federation of Young Republicans – FFYR Fall Quarterly
Our fall FFYR Quarterly will be in conjunction with RPOF’s Presidency 5, which is the state party’s presidential debate and straw poll. In addition, we will be partnering with CPAC who will be putting on a regional event in Orlando at the same time. FFYR Chairman Peret Pass will be speaking on the Youth Activism Panel at CPAC.
Two of the next three GOP debates will be held in Florida, Sept. 12 in Tampa and Sept. 22 in Orlando, the latter as part of the Florida GOP’s “Presidency 5” three-day event. On Sept. 23 most of the major Republican candidates will speak at the regional Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Orlando, prior to the P5 straw poll Sept. 24.
“If 2010 has taught us anything in Florida, it’s that nothing is for certain,” said Pawlenty fundraiser Ann Herberger, who doesn’t discount the potential of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, basing his campaign in Orlando. Meanwhile, Perry volunteers are gearing up in Florida even before the campaign is ready for “Presidency 5” and CPAC.
Palm Beach Post – Presidency 5
Florida’s Presidency 5 event already has a Fox News nationally televised debate slated among the Republican presidential candidates.
Now, the GOP gathering next month at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center will also feature a “forum” with the party’s four leading contenders to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
Herberger said she was looking for Pawlenty to get a boost from next month’s Republican Party of Florida “Presidency 5″ gathering in Orlando.
“I think his whole team in Florida absolutely wanted him to go on and take it to Presidency 5, but it just wasn’t to be,” Herberger said after a morning conference call with Pawlenty. “I think we could have been very competitive here.”
The St. Petersburg Times notes that with about a month to go until the Republican Party of Florida’s Presidency 5 straw poll, only three candidates have said they’ll contest the event: Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul.
That’s a recipe for a letdown at an event that was supposed to be a landmark in the fall campaign. Unless a candidate like Rick Perry swoops in to snag a symbolic victory, the real winner may be, as Jonathan suggests, the Mackinac Conference in Michigan, which is taking place at the same time and also has a straw poll in the mix.
Check out the Presidency 5 FaceBook page. Looks like Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney have ticked off some Florida Republicans by declining to participate in the P5 straw poll Sept. 24 (Though both will attend a Fox News debate and CPAC-FL conference held in conjunction w P5, and both their names will still be on the straw poll ballot.
The Florida GOP’s “Presidency 5” powwow set for Sept. 22-24 hasn’t generated a lot of buzz, and last week in Iowa with the national political press corps it was hard to find reporters more than vaguely aware of the event.
But it looks more and more like a big deal.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign says she does not plan to participate in Florida’s Presidency 5 straw poll next month — dealing another blow to the state Republican Party’s quadrennial event.

“Congresswoman Bachmann is working hard with a focus on the 2012 caucuses and primaries. There are no plans for her to take part in any other straw polls, including the Florida poll,” Doug Sachtleben, a spokesman for the Minnesota lawmaker, said in an e-mail to Sunshine State News Tuesday.

Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann say they’re skipping the Florida straw vote, but it looks like their names will be on the Sept. 24 poll ballot anyway.

According to the host Republican Party of Florida, all candidates participating in the scheduled Sept. 22 Fox News debate at the Presidency 5 summit will probably be listed on the straw ballot occurring two days later.

“We’ve told all the candidates that regardless of what they self-identify as participation, they’re likely going to be on the ballot,” RPOF spokesman Brian Hughes told Sunshine State News. He said a final decision on the policy will be made by the P5 committee.

U.S. Senate candidates will speak to the Republican Party’s Presidency 5 summit on Sept. 23.

The RPOF said Thursday that four leading candidates for the Republican nomination — Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller — will address the delegates in Orlando as part of the three-day P5 event.

Two of the hottest Republican properties — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann — are expected to compete in the Florida straw poll Sept. 24, GOP officials say.

Though neither has yet confirmed attendance, spokesman Brian Hughes said the party expects to receive RSVPs from both, perhaps this week.

We have finalized an agreement with the Peabody Hotel in securing space for Tea Party Hospitality Suite on Thursday and Friday (Sept. 22 & 23)!
The Hospitality Suite is open to all tea party groups from around the state and it’s purpose is to have a pronounced presence at the event, to allow for networking and fellowship between tea party groups and to provide a consistent location for media and/or candidates looking to interact with the tea party. We are in the process of extending an invitation to all presidential candidates to visit the suite.
There will also be a tea party group from Dallas present to share some exciting things they’re working on!
The Presidency 5 Tea Party Hospitality Suite will be located in Challenger 38 & 39 at the Peabody Hotel.
The Peabody Hotel is located directly across the street from the Orange County Convention Center, which is where P5 and CPAC-FL will be held (South End). Challenger 38 & 39 are located on the level above the Convention floor space where a covered walkway from the south end of the OCCC dumps into the Peabody.

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.