As the Jennifer Carroll scandal firmly demonstrated, the state of Florida does not really need a lieutenant governor.
The position comes with no official duties or responsibilities other than to take over as First Violin in the event the current governor moves on to another orchestra.
It’s silly then to suggest that Charlie Crist’s choice of running mates, Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, is unqualified to serve as LG because the position requires no qualifications.
Let’s say Crist and Taddeo-Goldstein win in November. That’s a distinct possibility, even a probability. It’s also possible that the ever-ambitious Crist won’t serve his entire first-term, much less eight years, were he to win re-election.
Crist’s presidential and vice-presidential ambitions are oon obvious display. It’s not a reach to suggest he would be at the top of Hillary Clinton’s shortlist for VP in 2016. If a Republican wins in 2016, it’s also safe to assume that Crist, the bipartisan governor of the nation’s third largest state, would be a contender to run for president in 2019-20.
All of this is on top of the usual Crist-a-coaster twists-and-turns that come with Charlie’s political adventures.
This is why it’s doubly important that Taddeo-Goldstein be properly scrutinized before voting for her and Crist. She is literally one phone call from Hillary Clinton away from the Governor’s Mansion.
And while Taddeo-Goldstein is exciting the Democratic base in South Florida, she’s left many capital insiders scratching their heads.
One well-connected veteran of a previous gubernatorial administration emailed me, “Name another time when an LG has been picked who has never served in government at any level?”
They continued, “So, we take a small-time local pol with no government experience and elevate her to within a heartbeat of running the third largest state in the country? Really? That’s like governance malpractice.”
Taddeo-Goldstein’s own supporters aren’t helping her case.
Here’s an image the Florida Democratic Party posted on Facebook. Obviously, it’s a set of quick bullets making the case for Taddeo-Goldstein’s candidacy. It’s based largely on talking points circulated by the Crist campaign.
It’s easy to understand the “Working Mom & Small Business Owner” bullet — it goes to Taddeo-Goldstein’s likability, which would appear to be the Crist campaign’s trump card versus Rick Scott. However, that kind of bullet is rarely what a serious candidate leads with. Go read a palm card of any candidate running for state House or county commission or mosquito control board; you’ll see that the personal stuff is not the first item mentioned.
“Knows what it’s like to live on the minimum wage.” What the hell is that about and what does it have to do with leading one of the largest economies in the world?
“Understands the stress, blah, blah, blah.” Is Taddeo-Goldstein running for public office or is she a guidance counselor? I don’t want the governor and lieutenant governor to understand what they perceive as stress. I want them the run the Department of Education, Transportation, Environmental Protection, etc.
Kudos to Taddeo-Goldstein for “being the daughter of an American serviceman and a Columbian mother,” but we all have a father and mother from somewhere who did something. This is weak sauce.
I get it, I get it. The Democratic bench is non-existent and Charlie Crist could not pick white dude Dan Gelber to be his running mate. But I remain unconvinced a county party chair who lost the two times she ran for elected office was the best choice, either.