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Mitch Perry Report for 9.18.15 — Hillary says she’s up for more debates

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As was the case with Fox News last month, CNN received record ratings for airing its prime-time Republican presidential debate this week, with 23 million tuning in. Thanks to Donald Trump, of course, the debates have become Must See TV.

Too bad the Democrats don’t have one of those.

Or how about even holding a debate? Well, that will be happening — in three and a half weeks.

As has been well noted, more and more Democrats have taken issue with the fact that the DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz has established only six such debates this presidential season. The consensus among Martin O’Malley supporters certainly is that the fix is in for Hillary Clinton. But if Hillary wants more debates, could that change?

Yesterday on CNN, Clinton told Wolf Blitzer in the first live interview of her campaign, “They’ve made their decision, but I’ve made it clear that if they want to do more, I’m happy to do them.”

Your call, Ms. Wasserman Schultz.

Meanwhile, who is going to get a bounce out of Wednesday night’s debate? Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie seem to have received the best notices, but should they be discouraged if their numbers don’t increase when the next major polls are released in the coming days?

Seems to me that Fiorina would be the most depressed if her numbers don’t rise just a bit. Let’s be honest — Fiorina had to lobby to get into Wednesday night’s debates, because her poll numbers (based on CNN’s criteria) were prepared to keep her in the loathed Happy Hour debate at 6 p.m. The media (especially conservative media) have been rapturous in praising her performance (her bit on Planned Parenthood notwithstanding). Seems to me it’d be incredible if her numbers don’t move at least three or four points.

But if Rubio and/or Christie (or Jeb Bush for that matter) don’t see their numbers rise immediately, there’s no reason to freak out — yet. We’re still officially in summer after all, with several months before anyone votes.

Of course, for the other candidates to rise, Trump’s numbers must fall.  Can’t wait to see the next polls to see if there’s any reduction in his popularity — or not.

In other news…

Relations between Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s administration and the City Council may be at a new low after yesterday’s council meeting.

You wouldn’t know it from watching the GOP presidential debates) the other night, but not everyone is in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood at the federal level. South Florida U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy certainly doesn’t, as he made in clear in a statement released yesterday.

I have to admit that, in the words of the late Johnny Carson, “I did not know that.” That being the fact that Florida is one of only three states where it’s actually against the law to cohabit with a member of the opposite sex if you’re not married. In a subcommittee on Wednesday in Tallahassee, a measure to repeal the bill passed, with three dissenters, one being Riverview Republican Ross Spano. One of his Democratic challengers in the HD59 race next year, Rena Frazier, called Spano out on that.

2016 House Speaker Richard Corcoran was allowed to give a big speech a year in advance of his elevation the other day. In his speech to his House colleagues, Corcoran laid out some specifics regarding ethics reform that Integrity Florida’s Ben Wilcox says sound pretty good.

And Marco Rubio missed another vote in the Senate yesterday — on Iran. But the Florida senator says he’s good about the fact that he’s missed more votes than any of his colleagues in 2015.

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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