Round-up of stories about Florida and the 2012 presidential race

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A Florida woman was among six young organizers with the Obama 2012 campaign who had lunch with the president today on Capitol Hill.
Celeste Rotunda of Gainesville was one of the volunteers eating with the president at Ted’s Bulletin, a retro-chic eatery that features comfort food. (Including homemade pop tarts and alcohol-spiked adult milkshakes.) President Barack Obama joined the six volunteers and Obama for America National Training Director Sara El Amine.
More than a year before the next presidential election, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making a prediction.
“Whoever has the plan for jobs is going to win,” he said. “President Obama, just because of what’s happened with jobs, he’s going to have a tougher time. But if the Republican candidate doesn’t have a plan for jobs, he’s not going to win.”
Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, struggling with low poll numbers and internal campaign troubles, came to Coconut Grove Wednesday searching for political magic from that coveted name in Florida politics: Jeb Bush.
It was Jeb Bush Jr. — not his father, the former governor — who was throwing his support behind Huntsman. And the son made clear he did not speak for the father.

Secretary of State Kurt Browning announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Justice had cleared dozens of changes to elections law that the GOP-controlled Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott adopted earlier this year.

But the “pre-clearance” from DOJ still leaves the most controversial parts of the law unresolved. Last month, Browning asked a federal court in Washington, D.C. to approve those changes, which include reducing the number of days voters will have to cast ballots early, and imposing new restrictions on third-party voter registration groups.
Bashing the state GOP’s conservative agenda, the Florida Democratic Party announced this morning it was holding its 2011 “A Legacy of Leadership: A Promise for Tomorrow” State Convention on Oct. 28-30 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Convention Center in Lake Buena Vista.
Democrats will have their work cut out for them next year, trying to deliver Florida’s critical 29 electoral votes to a presently unpopular President Barack Obama, keeping a lukewarm-viewed U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in office, and trying to make inroads in the GOP-dominated congressional and legislative delegations.
Oh yeah, the tea-party bashing union groups just lost big-time in their Wisconsin recall efforts last night, which can’t be very encouraging to Florida Democrats hopeful that a voter backlash against Gov. Rick Scott next year could put wind in their sails.
Republican presidential contender Jon Huntsman pilloried President Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying his former boss was “out of ideas” about ways to shore up the sagging economy and create more jobs.
“The American people have been pleading for leadership but their pleas are now falling on deaf ears,” said Huntsman, speaking at an event in Miami aimed at invigorating the White House candidacy he launched in June.
St. Petersburg Times – Ron Paul to visit Orlando next weekend
Ron Paul will appear at the Florida Liberty Summit in Orlando on Aug. 19 and 20, his first appearance in Florida since entering the GOP primary for president.
Paul was invited because he is a past chair of the Campaign For Liberty, which grew out of his 2008 run for president. The nonprofit group emphasized that Paul was not making a campaign stop. But the appearance could test the level of enthusiasm for Paul, who is hoping for Top 3 showing in this weekend’s straw poll in Ames, Iowa.

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.