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May 2011

Osama helps Obama, Florida voters want out of Afghanistan and Libya

Looking at today's Quinnipiac poll of Florida voters reveals a few interesting tidbits that could color the 2012 presidential election.

Sure President Obama inched into a 51 percent approval rating but that is clearly a fragile number. He benefited from the killing of Osama bin Laden and worries about the GOP plan to dismantle Medicare in favor of a voucher plan for medical care.

But there are some clear warning signs in this poll that Floridians could turn on Obama if the case is made that the White House is mired in Afghanistan and Libya.

Fifty-six percent of Florida voters said the U.S. should not be fighting in Afghanistan. Fifty-seven percent oppose our involvement in Libya.

Another interesting number, undoubtedly related to gas prices - 49 percent of Florida voters favor offshore drilling for gas and oil.

In other poll results Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson holds a commanding lead over his three potential GOP rivals.  And voters suggested they know little about the Republican candidates - Mike Haridopolos, Adam Hasner and George LeMieux.

None of that matters since few voters are paying any real attention to Florida's senate race.

That will happen soon enough.


New York Times photographer challenges White House and Congress

Stephen crowley king 
 First a bit of disclosure - The author of this New York Times item is Washington photographer Stephen Crowley, brother of Crowley Political Report editor Brian E. Crowley.

Stephen Crowley, who has covered politics for more than 25 years, has traveled the world for the New York Times taking pictures in hot spots in Africa, Asia, Afghanistan and numerous other places. He won a Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of photographers shooting in Afghanistan.

Today, Crowley wrote at length about White House manipulation of news events and their recent "restaging" of part of President Obama's announcement about the death of Osama bin Laden. He also questions the release of White House photos that suggest events are far different than the reality.

Crowley expresses deep concern about the new direction of manipulation that results in a less than a candid photographic record of events.

Crowley writes:

In 25 years covering politics, I’ve witnessed many staged events. I cannot recall an event I covered that was restaged.

It’s not that I’m against either. But a staged or restaged situation — often rich in absurdity and unintended humor — is a bit of stagecraft that should be celebrated for exactly what it is: sophistry.

Crowley also expresses concern about the media's use of White House photographs.

Continue reading "New York Times photographer challenges White House and Congress " »

Is Rick Scott helping Obama win Florida in 2012?

Obama cartoon Crowley Political Report is not sure whether to admire Florida Gov. Rick Scott for sticking to his beliefs about state government or to simply note that once again Scott and his team remain clueless about what Floridians really want.

We'll go with clueless.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll suggests that most Floridians agree.  Rick Scott has managed to squander what little support he had on election-day 2010. In little more than six months, Scott's approval rating has sunk to 29 percent.

That May number is even worse than Scott's already dismal April poll numbers which showed that just 35 percent of Florida voters approved of Scott's job performance.

This is great news for the Obama administration. If Scott's numbers continue to remain abysmally low, he could pull down the Republican Party in Florida.

Republicans are not likely to win the White House without winning Florida's 29 electoral votes. The GOP should be looking at the Sunshine State with great anticipation - after all, the 2010 election gave the party the governor's mansion, all three cabinet seats and veto-proof majorities in the state House and Senate.

But the face of the party is Scott. And right now it is not a very pretty face.

Of course, that begs a larger question - Is Rick Scott really a Republican?

Continue reading "Is Rick Scott helping Obama win Florida in 2012?" »

Rick Scott, Agenda 21 and the United Nations

RickScott You may not be concerned about Agenda 21 but Florida Gov. Rick Scott is not going to let it happen in the Sunshine State.

It is an odd but revealing tidbit about Scott, a Republican who still remains little known to most Floridians.

Crowley Political Report listened to an interview that Scott gave Matt Bruce host of the Sarasota radio program The Captain's America. Bruce's website describes the program as a "member of the American TEA Party Movement."

It was a fairly routine question and answer session between Scott and Bruce when Bruce asked this question:

A lot of people are concerned about this UN Agenda 21, sustainable development they don't understand it, lot of people don't even know what it is. We do have it in Sarasota County with what is called the 2050 plan, it is spotty to say the least around Florida. What do you know about this sir?

Without missing a beat, Scott replied:

I know it's not good for Florida and so I'm going to make sure we're not giving someone else the power to figure out our destiny. I'm focused on our rights as an individual state. I don't believe the federal government should be telling us what to do and clearly the UN should not be dictating how we build our state.

Bruce ended the segment with:

Oh yeah, this is what people don't understand this is the UN telling us what to do with our property and with our own lands.

Okay, Crowley Political Report was compelled to do a bit of research to find out  - what in the world is Agenda 21?

Continue reading "Rick Scott, Agenda 21 and the United Nations" »

Just how much trouble is Rick Scott in?

Scott1fin Should we be worried about Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott? You have to be in a heap a trouble to ask your mom to bail you out.

Crowley Political Report has been closely following Florida governors since 1979. This is the first time a governor has called his mom and asked her to tell Floridians that he is doing a good job.

This is just odd behavior.

It's a little like a grown man bringing his mom to the office to tell his boss that he's a swell worker and should have a raise.

So why would you ask your mother to make a 38-second internet ad declaring you a "good boy" just days after the end of your first legislative session?

It would appear this is Scott's way of  going to Poll Depot to purchase better poll numbers.  This is what Scott does. Cranky with Obama's health care plan? - dip into your checking account and start you own anti-Obama care organization.

Wanna be governor? - use the big debit card. Ditto the private jet. And now, it appears that Scott wants to buy some friends.

And what does that tell us about Scott and his advisors? That they have a very cynical view of Floridians.

Here is Esther Scott speaking about her son (note: she does not live in Florida). (Note 2 - some have grumbled about the ad being shot in the governor's mansion in Tallahassee - who cares, really?)

Art by Patrick Crowley

Follow us on Twitter @CrowleyReport


Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee play Republicans for fools

Many years ago there was a small traveling circus know as the Ring Brothers - not to be confused with Ringling.  Maybe the Ring Brothers would still be around today if they had clowns of the caliber of Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee.

Give them credit - they did a brilliant job of playing Republicans and the media for fools.

Does anyone deep in their souls believe that Trump and Huckabee were going to run? And does anybody believe the nonsense they spewed as they bailed out.

Of course both Huckabee and Trump tells us that they would have won the Republican nomination. And both believe they could have defeated President Obama.

But despite what they claim to be a strong chance of winning the White House, they would rather be television personalities.

Bob Barker must be proud.

The fact is that these two make-believe candidates abused the Republican Party and political activists for their own personal gains.

If we believe Pastor Huckabee, building a multi-million dollar home in Florida is his spiritual calling.  If we believe Trump, deciding whether to fire Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice is more important than becoming president and creating jobs.

Maybe they should get together and take their circus on the road.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Adam Hasner talks about Sharia, oil, and the royal wedding

Batteries for the flashlight? Check. Doors and windows bolted? Check. Food supplies for a year? Check.

Crowley Political Report is now ready for the worst. Clearly America is becoming unhinged and hoardes are at the gates.

That's the feeling one gets after listening to a speech Adam Hasner gave to Orlando's Young Republicans.  Hasner is apparently hoping to win the Florida  GOP nomination for U.S. Senate by scaring the bejesus out of us.

He's not alone of course. A lot of candidates these days give speeches as if a giant meteorite is just days from smashing Earth to smithereens.

Hasner is pretty good at it. The former Florida House majority leader, uses dire tones when he warns that America is in danger as much from the outside as from within.

"We cannot fight an enemy unless we are willing to acknowledge who that enemy is. That enemy has a name and it's Sharia compliant Islam.

"And we cannot allow political correctness or multiculturalism or appeasement to cripple our defenses at home or abroad because this is no longer just a threat on foriegn soil this is now also  a threat from those who seek to destroy us from within."

Hasner also makes it clear that he rejects the politics of his parents, "liberals from Brooklyn."

Continue reading "Adam Hasner talks about Sharia, oil, and the royal wedding" »

Newt Gingrich makes his last stand

Newt This is it for Newt Gingrich - his one and only shot left at winning the Republican nomination for president.

Tweeting and Facebooking his way into the 2012 presidential campaign today, Gingrich enters a field of candidates that range from the improbable - Ron Paul - to the "who is he again? - Tim Pawlenty.

The GOP is crawling with wannabe, largely who-cares candidates. The most excitement so far has been generated by Donald Trump.

There is a huge personality void that Gingrich could fill - a space now occupied by Trump who keeps talking himself into stupidity.

No one has ever accused Gingrich of being stupid. And Gingrich surely knows that his entire legacy now rests on this campaign. Next month, Gingrich will be 68 - he is not going to get a do-over if he blows it this time.

Of all the potential candidates, Gingrich has the best shot at winning Florida. Gingrich spends a lot of time in the Sunshine State and he is popular with many Florida Republicans.

It is easy to be dismissive of Gingrich. Some Republicans says he lacks the discipline necessary to run a national campaign. One GOP strategist tells Crowley Political Report that Gingrich may not fully appreciate the rigors of a campaign.

Watch carefully in the coming months to see whether Florida's big money contributers get behind Gingrich - it will be an important clue to determining whether Gingrich can pull it off.

New York, New Jersey get Florida High Speed Rail money

Crowley Political Report is back from a break with this tidbit from the New York Times about how politicos in  New York and New Jersey are snagging the $2.2 billion that Florida Gov. Rick Scott told the Obama administration he didn't want.

According to the NYT - "The federal transportation secretary, Ray Lahood, rode Amtrak to Manhattan to announce that $795 million of the money would go instead toward improvements along the Northeast Corridor, the rail line that runs between Washington and Boston."

"A governor that rejects transportation money is penny-wise and pound-foolish,” said Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

You can read more here.

Gov. Rick Scott statement on killing of Osama bin Laden

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued this statement on Sunday's killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden:

"The death of Osama Bin Laden marks a great victory for Americans and for freedom-loving people worldwide. Finally, some degree of justice has been achieved after nearly a decade of death, war and untold sacrifices because of that man. For the loved ones of all those we've lost in this war on terror, may this bring some measure of peace.

“I am so proud of our dedicated military men and women and our intelligence community for not giving up in our pursuit of justice. I am grateful for their tenacity and their deep sacrifices. President Barack Obama should also be commended for doing the right thing and following through with the promise of justice initially given by President George W. Bush.

“While threats remain, today the world is a safer place.”