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Mitch Perry Report for 6.15.15 — Hillary (sort of) takes a stand on TPP

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Good morning from the Parkway Inn Motel in Miami Springs, where I’m in place for Jeb Bush’s announcement that he’s officially a candidate for president.

His announcement follows Hillary Clinton’s big speech over the weekend in New York City, which was actually her second “official announcement,” following an extremely low-key “soft opening” back in April.

Clinton launched into a laundry list of policies and beliefs in her 45-minute speech on Saturday, but was criticized by many officials (and already had been for weeks by Bernie Sanders) for failing to mention the biggest domestic issue in Washington — the free trade agreement advocated by President Obama with 12 Pacific Rim nations called the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Obviously, Clinton heard those criticisms, because she finally weighed in on the issue on the campaign stump in Iowa on Sunday.

“The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress starting with Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers to make sure we get the best and strongest deal possible,” she said. “And if we don’t get it, there should be no deal.”

So, I guess that means she’s for it — but it can get better? I think that’s called trying to have it both ways. One would expect to hear more criticism not only from Sanders, but also Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee about that wishy-washy stance.

In other news…

We were busy this weekend, as we attended the Florida Democratic Party’s big summer fundraising dinner in Hollywood. Full report here.

A task force report led by Bill Nelson and former Orange County Police Sheriff Val Demmings about What Went Wrong with the Florida Dems last year was published this weekend. Although the report says that fundraising was lacking, Allison Tant says the party raised a record amount for an off-year election.

Although most House Democrats (including Kathy Castor) rejected President Obama in voting down a deal linked to the Trans Pacific Partnership on Friday, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was not one of those Democrats.

And if you missed it on Friday, here’s a story about one Tampa Democrat contemplating moving to Pinellas County to run against David Jolly. This is all new, trust us.

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.

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