As far as test balloons go, the one Alex Sink’s campaign floated about her naming a lieutenant governor candidate earlier than when required went over like a wounded duck — despite the part about her asking former gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith to join her on the ticket.
Unfortunately, many of the people advising Sink to make an early choice “to cover twice the ground” are many of the same Democrats who have lost statewide election after statewide election. In fact, if I were Sink I’d do the exact opposite of what is suggested by the Democratic establishment.
“You get two for the price of one – two people raising money, two people giving speeches and contacting voters,” said Democratic strategist Screven Watson.
I’m not so sure we have one Democrat giving speeches and contacting voters.
No disrespect to Rep. Ron Saunders or Screven Watson, who are two of the few smart Democrats in the state party, but recommending that Sink pick an LG early is not only bad advice, it’s also a damning criticism of the state of Sink’s campaign.
After all, what is it say about Sink that much of the Democratic establishment wants to see her name an LG candidate to inject some vitality into her campaign? And what does it say when that injection of vitality is embodied by Rod Smith, the guy who lost to Jim Davis?
Unfortunately, Bill March’s article about Sink possibly naming an LG has jump-started the parlor game that is “Who should Sink select?”
My colleague Ben Kirby recommends Keith Fitzgerald for the job. I previously recommended Darryl Rouson. Other names mentioned by party activists and supporters as possible picks were former state Rep. Jack Seiler, currently mayor of Fort Lauderdale; Panama City Mayor Scott Clemons; and former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.
But what I really believe is that Sink should take her time and see what happens on August 24. Either Dan Gelber or Dave Aronberg will be available. Then there’s also the consideration about what Sink should do if Kendrick Meek loses to Jeff Greene. If that happens, Sink may have to select an African-American to shore up support in that community.
The point is that Sink, finally gaining her voice as a statewide leader in the face of the oil spill crisis and with her two Republican opponents going medieval on each other, actually has time on her side.