Lots of political soul-searching going on this weekend. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is holding a retreat in at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Naples, while Republicans will ponder their future at the
Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
Democrats, who are excited about the race for an open Senate seat in a state won by Barack Obama last year, will also raise money while in Florida. (Republican Mel Martinez is stepping down in 2010.) Hosts for a Miami event on Sunday benefiting the DSCC include real estate investors Stephen Bittel and Michael Adler, lobbyist Al Maloof and Jorge Mas Santos of the Cuban American National Foundation. Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Barbara Boxer of California, Mark Begich of Alaska and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are scheduled to attend.
The CPAC gathering is expected to draw potential 2012 presidential contenders as well as possible 2010 Senate candidates like U.S. Rep. Connie Mack of Fort Myers. He's participating in a panel on gun rights on Friday. Expect a lot of handwringing among these fiscal hawks over the massive spending plan approved by Congress -- widely condemned by Republicans but embraced by Gov. Charlie Crist.