Rick Kriseman’s pretty lame campaign launch

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This is what Rick Kriseman left the Legislature to do?

To speak to fewer than a dozen souls on a listless February afternoon.

This is what Kriseman has been planning for months? 

To announce his candidate for mayor of St. Petersburg at a sparsely attended press conference.

This is it, Rick?

I know, I know. Folks will say I have it out for Kriseman because of his association with Kevin King. And that may be accurate. But I was/am ready to give Kriseman the opportunity to impress me and the rest of the city. 

Today is not what I would describe as an impressive day for Rick Kriseman. Every major candidate who ran in 2009 — Jamie Bennett, Kathleen Ford, Bill Foster, Deveron Gibbons, and Scott Wagman — had a much more substantial launch than what Kriseman displayed this afternoon.

Sure, Kriseman had his family in tow and that’s with whom he wanted to kick-off his campaign. But why such a low-key launch? What, if anything is Kriseman waiting for? For Kathleen Ford to size Kriseman up and decide she could squash his bleeding heart in the primary?

Kriseman had no prepared remarks. No banner. No handouts. No signs. Just Cesar Fernandez body-manning him and Kevin King lurking on the sidelines. 

If Kriseman were getting anything close to sensible advice, he would have announced last Thursday after City Council rejected Charlie Gerdes proposed amendment to the use-agreement with the Tampa Bay Rays that would have allowed the team to look beyond St. Petersburg for a new stadium site. Kriseman could have sprung on to the steps of City Hall and said, “This! This is why I am running for Mayor. Yada, yada.” 

Instead, Kriseman today all but sneaked into City Hall to launch a campaign that starts out at 8% in the latest polls.

Consider me not impressed. 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.