Monday | September 16, 2002
Things looking up in FL
Continuing today's inadvertant Florida theme, the post-primary gubernatorial situation seems to be breaking the Dems way. First and foremost, McBride won, offering the Dems the strongest candidate vs. Jeb.
Second of all, Reno appears ready to concede, promising to forgo a legal challenge of her razor thin loss. Furthermore, Reno has promised to launch a crusade against Jeb on the botched elections issue, which should motivate the Democratic base while allowing McBride to focus on other issues.
Finally, both McBride and Reno ran a laudable primary campaign, refusing to go negative on each other and saving their ammunition for Bush. The botched election tested their congeniality, but they seem to have pulled through with only minor damage. Reno's willingness to concede after election results are certified tomorrow, as well as her decision to campaign against Bush on the elections issue, can't be praised enough (especially after losing a race she arguably could've won in a clean election). Thus, the candidates (and their supporters) are spared the oftentimes contentious "unity" efforts following negative primary campaigns.
Now the focus turns on McBride's choice for Lt. Gov. The names bandied about are former USF president Betty Castor, former EPA head Carol Browner, former candidate Daryl Jones, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Panelas.
Jones has announced he would refuse to run with McBride (though he could always change his mind). McBride received a significant amount of support in South Florida, which would shore up McBride in his weakest region. Panelas seems to be off the list, however, since many of the election troubles have been pinned on his lapel. I still think naming a popular Latino and (moderate) Cuban-American to the ticket would be a boon to McBride.
But, I ultimately believe that McBride would best be served by Castor. In addition to being a woman (which would generate a great deal of positive press and help solidify the already strong support among women), she also has impeccable education bona fides. Education is shaping up to be one of the campaign's marquee issues, and Bush has been caught on the wrong side of a debate over smaller class sizes. Castor could help drive that issue home.Posted September 16, 2002 02:36 PM | Comments (1)