Sunday, June 07, 2015

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

Florida will "really matter next year"

Bill Cotterell guesses that "the Republicans will probably have Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio headed for a home-state showdown on March 15. Their Florida advantages will persuade other candidates that their money could be better-spent elsewhere, and most of the current GOP field will have been culled by the Ides of March."

Never mind whether you agree with Rubio on immigration or Bush on Common Core education standards. If both men are standing after Super Tuesday, their showdown in Florida will probably make one of them the acknowledged frontrunner and send the other one home.
"Let’s look at some math."
There are 2,470 delegate votes at the GOP convention, so it takes 1,236 to win the nomination. Florida has the third-largest delegation, with 99 delegates, topped by only California (172) and Texas (155).

Texas is the big prize on Super Tuesday, March 1, and you have to figure ex-Gov. Rick Perry would do well in his home state. But Perry dropped out in South Carolina, one of the February Four, last time out – and there’s no reason to think he’s caught fire this time.

Perry notwithstanding, there are 694 delegates at stake on Super Tuesday, more than half what it takes for the nomination. If there are four, maybe five, real Republican candidates left, nobody is going to become a prohibitive favorite that day – but somebody is likely to come out of that day as the likely nominee.

But the next week, before Florida, there are three primaries and a Hawaii caucus for the Republicans, including Ohio (66 delegates) and Michigan (59). . . .

With a full delegation this time, Florida has the votes to either put one candidate so far out in front, the nomination will be all but decided, or to pull some close runner-up back into contention. Either way, whether it’s Bush or Rubio or one other the others, the state’s primary will finally really matter next year.

"Bush v. Rubio or not, Florida will matter next year"

"As the politicians in Tallahassee wallow in their ignorance"

Steve Otto wonders about "the ultimate issue with health care in America. The doctors and nurses are fine. It’s the bureaucratic health care industry that is soaking us — while we watch helplessly as the politicians in Tallahassee wallow in their ignorance." "Health care system’s woes are sickening."

"Rubio's double-standard problem"

Tim Padgett, WLRN’s Americas editor in the Miami Herald this morning, writes that he's "waiting any moment now for Marco Rubio to demand that President Obama recall our ambassador to China and shut down our embassy there."

That’s because the junior senator from Florida — and now Republican presidential candidate — has decided to get tough on China.

In an article posted last week on the National Review, Rubio declared that the communist regime in Beijing “has gotten a free pass” for far too long and that it’s got to start answering for its often brutal human-rights abuses. . . .

Rubio finally seems to be addressing his double-standard problem.

He’s decided to confront China the way he and the rest of the Cuban-American congressional caucus insist we stand up to communist Cuba. And I’m assuming that means: No more diplomatic relations with China.

Right, senator?

"Rubio’s double-standard problem."

"They’re 'Bushed out,'"

The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe thinks "the party faithful are increasingly seeking younger, fresher candidates — they’re 'Bushed out,' as Barbara Bush has told visitors here in recent years." "For Jeb Bush, the challenge remains making it about ‘Jeb,’ not ‘Bush’."

The $4.5 million man

"During Marco Rubio's first year in the Florida Legislature in 2000, the 29-year-old lawmaker filled out the required forms detailing his personal finances. On the line listing his net worth, Rubio wrote: '0.'"

Since then, he has risen to lead the state House as speaker, won election to the U.S. Senate and earned at least $4.5 million at a series of six-figure jobs and by writing a best-selling memoir. Yet his net worth has improved only modestly.
"Rubio's real estate dealings often a drag on his finances ...."