Mitch Perry Report – 11.18.14

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Yesterday I opened up my copy of the New York Post (a guilty pleasure I indulge in about three times a week), where I was stunned to read on page 2 a story by Fred Dicker quoting New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox predicting that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio — and not Hillary Rodham Clinton — will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

“It’s like Barack Obama; he was a brand-new freshman senator, and he ran for president and won. I think de Blasio is going to do it, ” Dicker quotes Cox as saying recently.

While picking the progressive NYC mayor to upend Hillary is a decided long shot, what isn’t is the yearning in some Democratic Party circles for, well, somebody who isn’t Hillary Clinton, who isn’t the Establishment Choice.  It may not be that substantial, but it’s tangible. Obama filled that void in 2008, and Howard Dean did the same in 2003 (he was a goner a month into 2004) when he electrified Democrats by declaring that he was representing the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”

The source of the talk about de Blasio also centers around an op-ed he posted last week in the Huffington Post, where he posited that “too many Democratic candidates lost sight of those core principles” in the latest Democratic debacle at the polls, clipping their progressive wings in order to pose as centrists.

Elizabeth Warren is the most bandied about name that hits the sweet spot for frustrated liberals, as it looks like potential other challengers like Martin O’Malley and Brian Schweitzer may have already peaked before the campaigning has even begun. Then again, we don’t know for certain that Mrs. Clinton will run, though scratch that. She’s doing everything possible to indicate that she is. But there is something called Clinton fatigue that affects some (progressive) parts of the Democratic Party, and if it isn’t Warren or de Blasio, there surely will be a Democrat competing in the primaries who maybe nobody is talking about right now. Maybe Jerry Brown? It’s all fine and dandy to speculate mindlessly in mid-November, but the fact is that any serious contender for president is going to have to begin a campaign in just a few months.

In other news…

We’re in our first week of the second year of signing up for the Affordable Care Act — yesterday Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell visited Tampa to pump up enrollment, and once again denounce the politically toxic comments by MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber.

Adrian Wyllie is going to make it to Tallahassee after all – as a lobbyist.

A new survey shows that the majority of the American public doesn’t want President Obama to sign an executive action regarding immigration during the lame duck session. Yesterday Congressman David Jolly warned Obama that the House Republicans might vote to refuse to fund any immigration changes.

And did you know that your mail delivery may be slowed by an upcoming action early next year by the Postal Service? Last Friday Tampa postal workers leafleted in front of the Tampa International Airport, alerting them to those changes and advocating that they call their elected representatives to stop that from happening.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.