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307 posts from August 2008

August 31, 2008

Crist cancels plans to attend convention, may still give speech

Gov. Charlie Crist said the two hurricane-force storms buffeting either side of Florida convinced him to cancel plans to leave for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul on Saturday and, he said at a new briefing on Sunday, that he is likely not to attend the convention at all.

"My plan is to stay here and odds are that we will not be going to Minnesota," he said after briefing the media on how Florida is preparing for Hurricanes Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna.

He added that he but may still give his speech introducing John McCain on the final night of the convention on Thursday if he can arrange it via remote satellite.

"Unless things change. I mean, these are acts of God,'' he said. "It's a little off topic, but I was supposed to give an address on Thursday evening. Odds are if I do that, I'll probably do that from somewhere in Florida."

Martinez: Diaz-Balart wants to distract

Raul Martinez's campaign says Lincoln Diaz-Balart's new ad is proof that the Republican is feeling the heat of his challenger.

"Now that Lincoln is behind in the polls, he’s resorting to lies that are so outrageous, even he can’t make sense of them," said spokesman Aaron Blye. "On one hand he says the mayor was convicted and in the same ad he cites a Miami Herald news article that says the mayor wasn’t convicted. Twelve years ago, the Miami Herald reported that Raul was acquitted."

Martinez Monday will pick up the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union at his campaign headquarters in Hialeah.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart on air with a subtle (not) ad

Lincoln Diaz-Balart is up on the air in Miami with his first TV ad, "Integrity and Respect" a 30-second spot that starts out with soaring music and positive rhetoric about the Republican congressman.

But that quickly dissolves into an attack on his Democratic rival, Raul Martinez, whom the ad says enjoys a history of "insults and vulgarities." It features a Martinez police mug shot and an ominous quote from the Miami Herald attributed to him, "One day we may take a ride out to the Everglades and only I will come back."

The ad comes as Democrats tout a recent poll done for Capitol Hill's Roll Call that puts Martinez 2 points up on Diaz-Balart. The GOP'er's campaign, however, savaged the poll saying it was "grossly manipulated" to favor Democrats. Watch for Diaz-Balart to address the RNC at about 5:15 p.m. EST from St. Paul Monday and view the ad here:

Bush to campaign for Rooney

President Bush is scheduled to headline a Sept. 12 fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Tom Rooney in Palm Beach Gardens.

Rooney is trying to knock out Democratic Rep. Tim Mahoney, who stole the Republican leaning district just two years ago after Mark Foley was forced to resign. Now the Republican party wants the seat back.

Despite his low poll ratings, Bush is strategically deployed to raise money for his party.

Brow Dems say Biden to stump in Century Village

A calendar listing compiled for Broward Democrats is reporting that Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for vice president, will campaign in the Century Village community in Deerfield Beach at noon on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Florida Democrats were circulating e-mails contrasting Biden's record on Israel with Republican Sarah Palin's support in 2000 for isolationist Pat Buchanan.

Crist at the GOP convention: "Looking less likely"

Gov. Charlie Crist didn't have to field a single question about being passed over the veep nomination when he appeared on CNN this morning: Instead, appearing live from St. Pete in an aqua polo shirt, Crist sounded more meteorologist than politico, talking hurricane preparedness with Wolf Blitzer.

"We're still concerned in the Panhandle about rip currents, we also had some bands that came through the Fort Myers area this morning and we had tornado warnings in the Keys," Crist said of Hurricane Gustav, bearing down on the Gulf Coast. "We're concerned about it, we're concerned about our neighbors too."

With Tropical Storm Hanna eying Florida, Crist, who has already delayed his trip to the Republican convention, said his appearance in St. Paul is "looking less likely.

"It all depends on what happens with these storms," Crist said. "First things first, and that is protect the people of my state ... First and foremost we need to be here for the people and that's what I'm going to do."

Hurricanes keep Crist in FL

MINNESOTA -- Gov. Charlie Crist, who was supposed to fly to New York for a fundraiser and then arrive here Saturday, is staying put in Florida to monitor Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna.

Gustav, a Category 4 storm headed for Katrina-battered Louisiana, seems destined to overshadow the Republican National Convention. It's expected to hit Monday, the first day of the festivities. U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart is scheduled to speak that night. So is President Bush, who is likely to cancel.

Sunday morning TV, typically all politics, looks like the Weather Channel on every station. Satellite images of the storms have even taken the place of Alaka Gov. Sara Palin, John McCain's startling vice presidential pick.

Crist is slated to be interview on CNN momentarily.

August 30, 2008

No drama Obama, no mundane McCain

No Drama Obama? The Democratic convention was anything but.

Laced with enough tears of anguish and joy to keep a team of crisis counselors billing overtime, the giant group therapy session belied the nominee's reputation as a cool customer.

On Friday, John McCain quickened the nation's pulse by tapping Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the first woman on the ticket since Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. Palin makes passed-over Gov. Charlie Crist look like an elder statesman, having served less than two years as governor and, before that, as the mayor of a town of about 9,000 people.

Call McCain's choice inspired or crazy, but it isn't boring.

Read Beth Reinhard's column here.

Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina clarifies position in Diaz-Balart v. Martinez race

Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina issued the following statement today in response to an Aug. 29th Naked Politics blog posting, that incorrectly alluded to his possible support of Congressman Lincoln-Diaz Balart over challenger Raul Martinez -- Hialeah's former mayor. The posting came after a Friday press release from the Republican Party of Florida noting that Diaz-Balart and Robaina would headline the opening of campaign headquarters on Saturday.

Below is Robaina's full written statement to the Herald:

As the Mayor of Hialeah and as a Republican I want to reiterate my unequivocal support and commitment to the Republican Party and electing John McCain and Sarah Palin, as the next president and vice president of the United States.

I am proud and excited about the Republican Presidential Ticket. 

In response to the headline that I have chosen sides in the congressional race between Lincoln Diaz Balart and former Mayor Raul Martinez is incorrect and I would appreciate a retraction.

The fact is that I have not endorsed anyone in this hotly contested race. I have the confidence in the voters of the City of Hialeah that they will choose the very best candidate to represent us in Washington.

I have said many times publicly that Raul Martinez is my friend and endorsing Lincoln Diaz-Balart a fellow Republican would be a betrayal of my friendship with Raul Martinez and his family.   

My lack of endorsement in this congressional race should not be interpreted as a lack of commitment to the Republican Party and Presidential Ticket of McCain/Palin.

I will do all I can to help John McCain be the next President of the United States.

Thank you,
Mayor Julio Robaina

Obama camp connects the dots for Jews: McCain...Palin...Buchanan..."Nazis"

Barack Obama's campaign, perhaps miffed at all the Democrat-is-weak-on-Israel theme, started striking back at John McCain almost as soon as he tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Where the Dems are trying to paint McCain as more financially out of touch with people, they're strongly suggesting that his Christian conservative running mate is no friend to the Jews.

"Palin was a supporter of [MSNBC analyst] Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer,'' Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski wrote in an email.

The campaign also alerted reporters to the fact that Palin supporters, when she ran for mayor of the little Alaska city of Wasilla, was hailed by a supporter as "the first Christian mayor," something that irked predecessor John Stein because he, too, is Christian.

Now comes this piece in Talking Points Memo connecting the Palin-Buchanan dots. It says Obama's pick of Joe Biden to be his vp "pretty much eliminated Obama's 'Jewish problem.'" Does that mean Obama had a problem in the first place?

And what should we make of the chumminess of Buchanan and liberal icons/mouthpieces Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann? Nazis all.

McCain-Palin spokes Michael Goldfarb responded in a statement: "Governor Palin has never worked for any effort to elect Pat Buchanan -- that assertion is completely false. As Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin did attend an event with Mr. Buchanan in her home town where reports described her wearing a Buchanan for President button. She wore the button as a courtesy to Mr. Buchanan and in an effort to make him feel welcome during his visit, but immediately sent a letter to the editor of her local paper clarifying that the button should not have been interpreted as an endorsement of any kind."