Monday, December 15, 2008

Greer Back In?

Perhaps we were took quick to write the obituary for Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer's aspirations to be chair of the RNC.

This little piece was published in The Politico, an insider publication in Washington, DC.

Greer gushes over the ability of the Florida GOP to hold back the Democratic tide, which takes more than a bit of rhetorical tap dancing. He skips over the loss of two Congressional seats and the fact that Florida went for Obama and focuses on the failure of Democrats to seize any legislative seats.

It is very true that (Jon Ausman points this out in an well thought open letter) Democrats did a poor job in the 2008 legislative races, but it is also true that the open seats weren't there in 2008 like they will be in 2010 (and like there were in 2006, when Dems picked up a net gain of seven state house seats), but I the the Republican National Committee is more concerned by Obama's margins in Florida than they are by Greer's ability to hold on to his state house seats.

Incidentally, Saul Anunzis, who is openly running for RNC chair, published a similar bit of editorializing in same issue.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Plot Thickens - Bush Style

Something we all thought was never going happen – Jeb Bush is making moves to run for a legislative office.

Granted, it is the United State Senate, but it was always assumed that the being one among hundred was not, shall we say, Jeb’s cup of tea. He’s an executive type personality.

And I’m still not sure he wants to be one among hundred, particularly on the minority side.

But it almost seems like Mel Martinez’ exit was orchestrated to allow just this moment.

In any event, despite the presumed advantages of incumbency, this seat actually got a lot more competitive now that Mel is out of the picture.

Alex Sink, who had earlier sad she would not run for the Senate, backed off that statement when it became open, but may be inclined to run for re-election as CFO if Jeb runs. If she does run, despite the rumblings from Gelber, Meeks, Wexler, Castor, Boyd and others, the DSCC will probably clear the field for Sink.

If Jeb chooses not to run, it could get particularly interesting in the Tampa Bay area. Attorney General Bill McCollum ran for Senate twice and lost – once in the general and once in the primary – but he hasn’t been shy about letting folks know he’s still jonesing to be a Senator.

And if he does run, expect soon to be former St. Petersburg Rick Baker to throw his hat in the ring. Like, Jeb, he views himself as an executive rather than legislative kind of guy – and the old political joke is that AG doesn’t stand for Attorney General, but for “Aspiring Governor.”

Monday, December 01, 2008

CD 10 - The Prognostication Continues

Florida’s 10th CD got a little shout-out in Dailykos in a rundown of interesting races in Florida. As might be expected, State Senator Charlie Justice was touted as a candidate.

I actually think that the Democratic bench for this seat is fairly deep. There are a number of candidates who could provide a strong challenge – especially since a credible challenger to Sen. Mel Martinez will almost certainly win this district (Martinez’ numbers are quite bad and he is the incumbent Senator most likely to lose in 2010).

Richard Kriseman and Jamie Bennett are both looking at the St. Pete mayor’s race (Bennett seems like a near certainty to run), but either would be strong candidate. I happen to think that neither will run – Bennett has an excellent shot to win the mayor’s race and Kriseman is, perhaps, more likely to wait for Justice’s state senate seat to open up or run for a county office.

Likewise, 2008 nominee and Dunedin mayor Bob Hackworth got more votes than any Democratic candidate for the seat has in many years. Yes, he lost and lost badly, but an early and aggressive campaign (he didn't get into the race until barely six months out), stronger fundraising and a greater presence in St. Petersburg could turn a 20 point loss in 2008 into a nailbiter in 2010. Many of the upset winners in 2006, in particular, were challengers who lost in 2004.