Saturday :: Jul 5, 2003

Will It Play in Pensacola?

by dj moonbat

Posted by Matt Davis

There are plenty of reasons why Bob Graham doesn't look like the best candidate in the field: There's the heart problem; sure, it's nowhere near as bad as, say, Dick Cheney's heart problem, but it's there. Then there's the obsessive note-taking. Plus, Bob has this weird fixation on Hezbollah, the "A-Team" of anti-American terror, despite the fact that they haven't messed with us since we left Lebanon.

But when you rip through all the other reasons why we "lost" last time, you come down to a few thousand Floridian votes. Without a "butterfly ballot," all of those Green voters fade into insignificance. Without an extra few hundred votes elsewhere, and the intervention of the Supreme Court, there would have been a recount.

So Florida is the "mega-state" that we have to win, folks.

Does anybody seriously think that New York is going to vote G-Dub because Graham is into wacky anti-Hezbollah rants that play to his Florida Jewish retiree constituency?

Could a Democrat possibly lose California to Dubya, because he seems less worldly, urbane and sophisticated than King George?

But most importantly: Is there any way that Graham could possibly lose Florida?


Absolutely not. Bob Graham, along with Lawton Chiles, embodies the kind of politician Florida loooves. They ooze folksiness, and thus haul in the old Florida cracker Yellow Dog Democrat vote, but they still know how to maneuver the halls of power in a new Florida that has absorbed a massive influx of immigrants over the past couple of decades. These guys owned Florida politics for a while.

Florida will vote big for Bob Graham. The Florida vote won't make it anywhere near the Supreme Court this time, if Graham is up against Bush--Jeb or no Jeb, Bush would go down by probably a 200-thousand-vote margin at the least.

Now, compare that result--in the one "mega-state" that's even remotely up for grabs--with the other guys:

Lieberman -- he'll do great with the Jewish retirees, and very poorly with the cracker vote, and probably have trouble motivating any latin or black voters to vote.

Edwards -- of the declared candidates, he would do the best in Florida. He has been sounding liberal themes in a very original way recently, and the southern cracker vote won't immediately spurn him, because the accent is close enough. (Athough they may spurn him later, if the 'trial lawyer' label that the GOP uses against him manages to convince any sizeable group that Edwards is a Jewish mole.)

Kerry -- Yeah, yeah; Massachusetts liberal war hero, with initials "JFK." What else is new? He would probably win Florida, anyway. But the lead would be only slightly more comfortable than Big Al provided us last time. In a just system, that might be good enough. I think we should plan ahead.

Dean -- Dead on arrival, IMO. Y'all feel free to use the comments to show me how this Vermonter will be able to work honest-to-God Southerners, though. I like his fire, but I just don't think it will sell. If someone can lay out how Dean takes Florida, I'm all about it.

Clark -- Clark would definitely take Florida. But he's not running yet.

Gephardt -- The fact that it took me as long as it did to remember that Gephardt was still running is probably a sign. But if not, I still think we're talking about a guy who puts us within the critical range where something bad could happen.

Moseley Braun -- Riiiight.

Kucinich -- Yep.

Sharpton -- Oh, yeah.

Unfortunately, a lot of us are thinking about candidates with no regard to geography. There are four huge electoral college states out there: California, Texas, New York, and Florida. The only one that is really in play is Florida.

Bob Graham has been doing politics in Florida since 1966. He has never lost. Think about that, as you root for candidates who excite you more rhetorically, or who jibe better with your politics, going through the primary season. Think about the fact that there's a guy in the field who has Florida in his back pocket, and the fact that the Democratic machine might bury that guy underneath a bunch of guys who make Florida, at best, a toss-up.

And pray for your guy, because it doesn't look like Graham will make it.


dj moonbat :: 4:29 PM :: Comments (17) :: Digg It!