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April 2012

Politico talks about Jeb Bush and the Veep job

Politico's Jonathan Martin has an interesting piece about all the folks in the Republican Party who dream of Jeb Bush joining the Mitt Romney ticket.

There is much gnashing of teeth. Much, oh golly the world would be a better place if Jeb would only run.  Martin does a good job of capturing the passion and clearly notes that Bush lacks similar passion for the number two job.

Martin writes:

Interviews with about a dozen Bush associates say that’s not the usual veepstakes non-denial denial — he truly doesn’t want to be on the ticket. The common euphemism among the Jeb crowd is that it’s just not his time, that the same factors that kept him out of the presidential primary make him unwilling to be the vice presidential nominee. There’s been speculation that this is shorthand for 2012 being too close to his older brother’s presidency, but those close to the younger Bush say it’s his own wife and children he has in mind when he expresses reluctance about returning to politics.

Bingo. This is not about national politics. This is about family. Columba was miserable as Florida's First Lady. She did not like living in Tallahassee. The Bush's daughter, Noelle, suffered from drug abuse while Bush was governor. On family front, it was a very difficult period.

When Crowley Political Report suggested, in this report, that if Bush wants to hang on to his political influence, he should run for U.S. Senate - several folks scoffed at the idea.

But the point remains. If Bush bypasses the national stage this time, his influence - which is negligible outside of the inner circle of GOP loyalists - will continue to diminish. He may become an elder statesman, but there shortage of those in the Republican Party. 

This is a turning point year for Bush. And frankly, we suspect he doesn't care. Every indication is that he is content doing exactly what he is doing. 

He may be one of the few former politicians who actually enjoys fading into the background. 

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Why Jeb Bush should run for the U.S. Senate


We are approaching Jeb Bush’s tenth anniversary.  When the ballots are completed this summer, Bush’s name will not be on them. The last time Bush was on the ballot was 2002, when he won his second term as governor.

Ten years.

While some folks still believe there is a Bush Florida political machine -they are mistaken.  A political machine requires candidates and campaigns to thrive. Bush's folks have long moved on to other candidates and campaigns. 

Florida's former governor certainly has not disappeared. He travels the country preaching his gospel of education reform which can be reduced to - public education does not work, let's give private enterprise (charter schools) a crack at it.

Bush also campaigns for other candidates and offers his endorsement - sometimes belatedly such as giving Mitt Romney the nod after the nomination was all but wrapped up. Candidates like adding his name to their list but the value of his endorsement is diminishing.

That's what happens when you have stayed off the ballot for 10 years.

And there was this hint - a wistful moment perhaps - when Bush said he might just take a call from Romney if he was offered the Veep job. Bush quickly pulled back - but it left some folks wondering if he is not as content traveling the country for speaking fees as he would be if his name were back on the ballot.

Bush has never been interested in running for president. He will not run for president in the future. No one who knows him well has ever believed he wants the job. 

No one has ever believed he would be interested in the U.S. Senate. He should be.

Continue reading "Why Jeb Bush should run for the U.S. Senate" »

Connie Mack's monkeys flop and Jeff Atwater stirs Florida's senate race

Hatchet135 copy
On the phone, a Florida Republican strategist can hardly hide his dismay at the Florida Republican race for U.S. Senate.

"A lot of people are turned off by Mack. And LeMieux hasn't done anything to stand out."

Mack would be Connie. LeMieux would be George. Neither has made much of an impression on Republican voters - at least those who are paying attention.

So now, a few frustrated folks are pushing the idea that Florida CFO Jeff Atwater should get into the race. Atwater is thinking about it. Atwater

Which begs the question - would Atwater be an improvement?

In short, yes.

Atwater's statewide name recognition is probably a tad better than Mack and LeMieux. And, perhaps most importantly, Atwater should be able to raise the money he needs to win.

He is a pragmatic Republican who had a successful turn as Florida Senate president. He easily won election as CFO in 2010.  One former employee in that office suggests that Atwater has not always been enthralled with being CFO. And there are some stories that Atwater can be difficult and demanding - that he worries too much about not getting the public credit he feels he deserves.

Those are not unusual traits for politicians.

What makes Atwater attractive to some Republicans is the fact that he is not Mack or LeMieux. The Tampa Bay Times has a story about Mack suggesting deep dissatisfaction with the GOP field in general and Mack in particular.

So should Atwater ride to the rescue?

Continue reading "Connie Mack's monkeys flop and Jeff Atwater stirs Florida's senate race" »

Store closes while Ann Romney shops on Palm Beach's Worth Avenue

Now who thought this was a good idea? Apparently, Ann Romney spent four hours Saturday doing some very private shopping at the very exclusive Alfred Fiandaca Couture store on Palm Beach's Worth Avenue.

Crowley Political Report is puzzled. Isn't the Romney campaign supposed to be trying to convince voters that they are just like the rest of us?

Not many folks shop at places like Alfred Fiandaca which has stores in Palm Beach, Boston and New York. And not many people have the store closed for them in the middle of a Saturday so they can shop in private for four hours.

According to Shannon Donnelly of the  Palm Beach Daily News - affectionately dubbed the Shiny Sheet - Fiandaca, "closed the store for her so she could shop in peace without any worries about paparazzi grabbing a shot of her in the fitting room. . . .

"The private shopping went well for the wife of the presumptive candidate . . . but for the customers who had “Stop by Alfred’s” at the top of their Saturday to-do list, well, not so much. They had to wait. Some did, patiently and quietly. Others did, not so patiently and not so quietly.

"Finally, Ann strolled out, shopping bags in hand, smiled at the small crowd gathered on the sidewalk, (and) climbed into the big black car. . . "

Note to the Romney campaign - if you want folks to forget that you are building a car elevator for your California home, or the fact that you also have homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and convince voters that you are just very fortunate, ordinary neighbors - try shopping at Target.

But don't ask them to close the store for you.


Allen West inspires a song: Are there only 80 communists in Congress?

Crowley Political Report has no idea who this guy Dr. Bob is, or whether he is really a doctor (he does appear in scrubs) but apparently Florida Republican Congressman Allen West has inspired Dr. Bob to write and perform this song.

Dr. Bob got his inspiration from West's rather bizarre statement that there are up to 81 Democratic members of Congress who are communists.

And fortunately for music fans everywhere - Dr. Bob has made his song available to everyone on YouTube.


Connie Mack, Bill Nelson and Chimps

Crowley Political Report asks this simple question - if few voters know who you are is this the best way to introduce yourself?

Monkees? Really? 

Few outside of the Fort Myers area know much about Florida Republican Congressman Connie Mack. That didn't matter until he decided to run for the U.S. Senate. Now, he needs to let voters know a bit about him other than the fact that he is the son of former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III.

So, again the question - is this the best way to introduce yourself in your first campaign ad? 

You decide.

We should note, that Mack also appears to be taking the GOP nomination for granted. George LeMieux may disagree.


Allen West video claiming up to 81 Congressional Democrats are communists

Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West is becoming a very bizarre character. During an appearance this week in Palm City, Florida, West was asked by a member of the audience this question:

"What percentage of the American Legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or . . ." at this point the question is hard to hear on the video.

West replies calling it a "good question" and then says, "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party."

Wow. Really? 

As this video clip ends, someone can be heard saying, "name one."  Apparently West did not, according to published reports.

Few have seen this video:


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High gas prices, Obama, Crossroads GPS and a rare appearance

Gas lines
No one is enjoying filling up the tank these days. Gas prices keep climbing and for most folks, their paychecks are not keeping up.

While it's not as bad as the gas crisis of the 1970s, when there was no gas available at any price, that is little comfort to people who dread the ever rising prices.

Crossroads GPS is offering this gentle reminder to viewers in Florida and several other key election states. 

On interesting side note is the fact that the ad criticizes President Obama for not being more like former President George W. Bush. Now, that's a comparision you don't hear very often. Republicans usually are not eager to mention the Bush name unless it is connected to his brother Jeb.

One should note that the ad doesn't actually say Bush's name. It leaves that chore up to NBC's David Gregory. But the ad folks do let Bush's name pop up on the screen. See for yourself:



An inside look at Obama fundraiser in Palm Beach Gardens

Air Force One landed at Palm Beach Internation airport shortly before noon. He was greeted there by U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Frederica Wilson, and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.

If you were traveling I-95, life quickly became grim for drivers as the highway was shut down to allow the motorcade to travel. Crowley Political Report must admit that it is a hoot to barrel down the highway in such a fashion - it even makes the traveling press feel very important.

Swinging into Frenchman's Reserve - one of many gated communities that house South Florida's very rich - Obama was greeted by "lots of ladies in tennis outfits," and a "fanclub of a couple of dozen shrieking Bieber-fever-aged girls," according to the White House press pool.

Obama signed posters and a basketball. He also crossed the street to speak with an older couple. he then entered the home of Hansel Tookes II. 

Inside were U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, his wife Grace and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who is the DNC chairwoman.

George Bennett at The Palm Beach Post wrote, in a pool report for Florida media, that Obama told the folks at lunch:  "This election probably has the biggest contrast that we've seen maybe since the Johnson-Goldwater election. Maybe before that. Because my vision, Bill Nelson's vision, the Democratic vision, is one that says free markets are the key to economic growth, that we don't need more government just for the sake of expanding its reach. But there are certain things we have to do, whether it's investments in education, or basic science and research, or caring for the most vulnerable among us, creating an effective safety net, and we have to do it because we can't do it on our own."

He added: "The Republicans in this race, they've got a fundamentally different idea. Their basic view is that if they dismantle government investments in infrastructure or clean energy research, education, if they give it all away in terms of tax cuts to folks like me or some of you who don't need it and weren't even asking, that somehow makes America stronger."

As Obama was leaving, some folks outside chanted,"four more years."  Obama replied, "With your help."

Then it was on to Florida Atlantic Univeristy in Boca Raton where Obama is scheduled to speak about his "Warren Buffett" plan.




Obama, college republicans, the nanny and more

Obama cartoonLet's hear it for the College Republicans of Florida Atlantic University who plan to wave signs during President Obama's visit to the campus Tuesday.

In an email encouraging folks to join them at the protest site - Lot 17 at noon - folks are asked: "Please bring a sign."  But that is not the best part. What is noteworthy is the rest of the message: "Remember to keep the content focused on policy issues and not personal attacks."

How refreshing. There will certainly be a few boobs who show up with signs that are appalling  but one has to give the College Republicans credit for trying to keep the focus on policy differences.

Obama's plans to chat about the "Buffett rule."  Warren Buffett repeatedly notes that the current tax laws allow the billionaire to pay less in taxes than his secretary. Some Republicans have suggested that if Buffett would like to send a few more bucks to the Treasury nothing is stopping him.

Buffett's argument is that the tax code should not be so generous to the super-wealthy because they can afford to pay more - and still be very rich. Republicans counter that simply giving that money to the government does nothing to help the economy, and that in fact, letting the rich keep the extra dough is good for business investment, jobs, and the overall economy.

There will be no shortage of rich folks hanging out with Obama tomorrow  - at least one with a serious nanny problem.  Welcome to the Golden Beach home of trial attorney Jeremy Alters, a major Democratic fundraiser with an unhappy nanny.

Obama 1

Miami Herald political writer Marc Caputo, had this descriptionr of Obama's visit to the Alters home: 

". . .it'll be like walking on to the set of a South Florida telenovela.

There's a spurned nanny. A hint of poison and betrayal. A multi-million case against a bank. Allegations of financial impropriety. Cut-throat lawyers. A bar complaint. An ongoing lawsuit. A lie-dector test. The forced sale of tony Colorado homes, and a $2.2 million loan made with a handshake.

This has been Alters' life for the past few years."

You must read the rest of Caputo's story here. 

But not're not done here. Obama will not be far from the international headquarters of Crowley Political Report, when he drops by the Palm Beach Gardens home of Hansel Emory Tookes II. 
Obama 2The must read about Tookes two, can be found here in the Palm Beach Post.   Obama also will be dropping by the Weston in Hollywood for another fundraiser.
If you a mere Democratic supporter who would like to see the President but Obama 3 you are not among the wealthy or a selected member of the faculty and students of FAU, you will have ample opportunites to wave at the motorcades as it zips around Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties.
There will be plenty of closed intersections to choose from. 

 Obama art by artist Patrick Crowley

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