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Mitch Perry Report for 8.27.15 – Is the “Joementum” there?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Forget the talking heads – Joe Biden says at this moment he’s still not sure if he’ll enter the 2016 presidential campaign.

“We’re dealing at home with … whether or not there is the emotional fuel at this time to run,” Biden told DNC members last night on a conference call as reported by CNN. “If I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now, both are pretty well banged up.”

Later in the hour-long conversation, Biden definitely sounded undecided.

“I’m not trying to skirt your question,” he said. “That’s the truth of the matter, but believe me, I’ve given this a lot of thought and dealing internally with the family on how we do this.”

If Biden were to get into the race, the money would be there, but how many Hillary Clinton donors would jump ship? That’s the thrust of an article written by Matea Gold in today’s Washington Post.

Realistically, how long can Biden wait to get in? One would think no later than September. Would his theme be that he’s a continuation of the Obama presidency? That might work with the Democratic base, but Obama is underwater in the latest national polls in terms of his favorability. There may not be Obama fatigue like there was Bush fatigue, but I’m not sure that running for a third Obama term is the winning ticket.

No, the key factor here is that he would become the Anti-Hillary. Is he up for that? Because that’s what it would be. The question of course that nobody knows is: how bad will it get for Clinton regarding the investigations of her email account while serving as Secretary of State.

Interestingly, Clinton finally took a more conciliatory tone when it came to her issues.

“My use of personal email was allowed by the State Department. It clearly wasn’t the best choice. I should have used two emails — one personal, one for work — and I take responsibility for that decision,” she said when asked at an Iowa event.

“Well, I know people have raised questions about my email use as secretary of state, and I understand why. I get it,” she followed up.

It’s getting more interesting, for sure – but if the best bet for the Democrats a 72-year-old two time presidential loser against an increasingly controversial Hillary Clinton – I still think there’s a window for somebody else to get in the race.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders continues to gain ground. Write him off at your own peril.

In other news..

With Charlie Crist apparently waiting for the congressional lines of the CD 13 seat to be redrawn before entering the Democratic Primary (which could take awhile), Eric Lynn is making the most with the void, releasing the first of a series of web videos taking on a particular issue, in this case, women’s issues, including his support for Planned Parenthood.

Twenty-two-year-old USF student Barbara Jimenez, who was involved in a serious auto accident in Cuba earlier this month and doesn’t have health insurance, will hopefully be transported back to Tampa within the next few days. A Hernando County based air ambulance company called JET I.C.U. is going to waive the estimated $15,000-$20,000 to bring the young woman back.

Jeff Brandes says he’s definitely intending to produce legislation that will reform the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission next year.

And although a poll released earlier this week shows that the solar power constitutional amendment from the group Floridians for Solar Choice is getting just 47 percent of the vote (it needs 60 percent for passage), one of its top spokespeople says that when voters get a detailed explanation of the amendment, 82 percent support it.

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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