« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

425 posts from January 2008

January 30, 2008

Take that Allan, Marco. Crist racks double win

Gov. Charlie Crist's name wasn't on the ballot Tuesday, but his reputation was in backing a property-tax cut and John McCain's presidential candidacy. The result: Crist's a king maker, juggernaut, etc (for now). Full story here. Think of this: Crist was his own exit poll question, meaning the national yutzes and intelligentsia had a new story theme: The Might of the Silver-Haired One.

In some ways Crist, seemed to be campaigning against the wills of Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio and his predecessor Allan Bense.

Rubio all but refused to lend public support to the property-tax plan and on Tuesday was at a polling station in Miami-Dade gathering signatures to get a rival plan on the ballot. However, he did vote for it, and said others should to because it did something (though precious little).

And Bense dissed Crist (here and here) in a Sunday conference call where he suggested Crist wasn't conservative enough to help McCain in the Panhandle.

According to exit polls, that ain't quite the case. McCain won North Florida with 36 percent support, compared to Mitt Romney's 33.

January 29, 2008

Clinton still celebrates delegate-less win

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton might not have been in Florida to campaign, but she wasn't about to miss a chance to come to the state to celebrate her win on Tuesday.

Several hundred supporters gathered at the Signature Grand Ballroom in Davie, buoyed by some of Clinton's standard upbeat campaign rally songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" and "Talking Care of Business."

"I am thrilled to have this voice of confidence you have given me today," Clinton told the crowd.

As political observers expected after her loss Saturday in South Carolina, Clinton emphasized the overwhelming Florida win, even if it meant no delegates. And she emphasized its ability to carry her campaign to Feb. 5.

"Stay with us because starting tomorrow we're going to sweep through the states," she said. "We will not only take back the White House but take back our country."

Clinton's appearance Tuesday night marks the official end of a months-long campaign
boycott. But while Clinton celebrated her win in Florida, her fellow candidates pushed ahead
with their campaigns in the flood of states that vote Feb. 5. But 2008's most famous
campaign surrogate Bill Clinton did continue the campaign push on her behalf Tuesday,
hitting stops in New Jersey and Ohio.


Voting glitches in Miami-Dade?

Secretary of State Kurt Browning said Tuesday night that it appears that some voters in Miami-Dade County had their party affiliation changed by mistake, a move that may have led to confusion when those voters then showed up on Election Day and wanted to vote in a particular primary.

Browning said there was a "form design" problem that led some voters to check a box and change their party when they didn't mean to do that. But he said that Miami-Dade apparently allowed some people to switch back on Election Day after evidence mounted that the mistake may have prompted by the faulty form.

"They said in cases where there records indicated that the voter should not have had their party changed, they went back in and changed that and satisfied the voter today,'' said Browning. When asked if that were legal, Browning said reporters needed to ask Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Lester Sola.

But Browning added that the county made the changes "because they felt locally that there was enough evidence that the party should have not been changed initially. The supervisor has the latitude under the code ot make those changes."

It looks like McCain

AP just called it: 36-32, John McCain over Mitt Romney

Republican National Committee: primary win in Florida won’t carry much weight"

Florida's Democratic primary didn't carry any delegates, but the Republican National Committee isn't taking any chances.

It's out with a video slamming winner Hillary Clinton.

You can see it here:

It's Clinton. And McCain (maybe) or Romney (maybe)

Early exit polls (and common-sense observation) shows Hillary Clinton will cruise to a win over Barack Obama in the Democratic primary. Now she'll show up and talk to the voters she dissed and declare victory.

On the GOP side, the race is too close. John McCain is at 34 percent right now, and Mitt Romney at 31. No victory party yet, though, lots of votes need to be counted.

Hillary supporters already celebrating in Broward

The national media have been calling the results of Florida's Democratic primary a beauty contest. Try telling that to the crowd of more than 200 gathered at the Signature Grand in Davie, waiting for Hillary Clinton to speak later tonight.

The group started pouring into the hotel's ballroom just as CNN started to broadcast initial results that showed the former First Lady with a sizeable lead over Sen. Barack Obama. And has been erupting into periodic chants of "Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry!" ever since.

"That's great!" said shouted state Sen. Nan Rich, as she turned to look at the results on the big screen behind her.

Rich, D-Weston, has spent the past few weeks campaigning hard for Clinton, along with several other state, national and local politicians, who are helping build support for the New York senator while she and the other Democratic candidates fulfill their promise not campaign in the state.

Rich spent the day at the polls in her district talking to voters about Clinton, and ended the day with her daughter and two of her grandchildren, where the family waited for Hillary to arrive in Davie. And for her grandaugther Hannah, it will be her first chance to meet Hillary, although she did get to meet Bill Clinton earlier in the campaign.

"She wanted to make sure that wasn't going to count as her turn [to go to a campaign event], because she didn't get to meet Hillary," Rich explained.


Rubio: turnout is exactly what we expected

House Speaker Marco Rubio said the record primary turnout Tuesday might never have happened if he and others hadn't pushed the idea of moving up Florida's primary from the second week in March to Jan. 29.

"This is exactly what we envisioned,'' he said Tuesday as he was gathering signatures for the property tax petition drive outside a Hialeah precinct. "People are excited and engaged in this political process. We're not sitting back waiting for March. This is good, even for 57 delegates.''

Rubio said that if the legislature hadn't pushed up the date, the presidential candidates "wouldn't have done 10 days of non-stop campaigning.''

"Hillary's word: It's worth nothing"

So says an angry Manchester (NH) Union Leader, which takes Hillary Clinton to task in its editorial pages, saying that she's violating the pledge she signed to not campaign in Florida.

"Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa," the editorial says. "Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning. She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did.

"New Hampshire voters, you were played for suckers."

Read the full editorial here. (The conservative leaning newspaper endorsed John McCain for the Jan. 8 primary; it skipped the Democratic race)

John Kerry: Florida doesn't matter; and Obama won't talk about seating Florida delegates

Former prez contender Sen. John Kerry, who has endorsed Barack Obama, urged reporters on a conference call to reject what he says is a Clinton campaign effort to make Florida count.

"The bottom line is: Florida does not offer any delegates," Kerry said. "It's not a legitimate race, it should not become a fabricated race, it should not become a spin race."

He cast Hillary Clinton's visit to Broward today after the polls close as an "effort to create something out of something that isn't supposed to be something."

(It might have mattered to Kerry: he lost Florida in 2004 to President Bush)

He was followed by campaign manager David Plouffe, who, responding to a question, wouldn't say whether the campaign would give Florida its delegates back.

"That's obviously a long way down the road," Plouffe said. Clinton, in a bid to woo Florida from afar, last week pledged to restore Florida's delegates. But the Obama campaign maintains Florida does not yet matter.