Previous month:
September 2016
Next month:
November 2016

October 2016

Can Hillary Clinton drag Patrick Murphy over the finish line

Not likely but possible. That's the short answer as to whether Congressman Patrick Murphy's dismal campaign can be saved by Hillary Clinton.

Murphy's campaign has been a bit of mystery. When Murphy believed that incumbent U.S. Senator Marco Rubio would keep his word to not run for a second term if he lost his bid to be president, it was naive. Rubio's life is about politics and while the Republican clearly is disappointed by the inertia of Senate, leaving public life was never a real possibility.

Without Rubio in the race, Democrats believed Murphy had an excellent chance to win against whoever would be the GOP nominee. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority PAC, were prepared to spend heavily in support of Murphy.

But like a bicycle tire with a slow leak, Murphy's campaign seemed to go flat shortly after Rubio shocked no one by saying he wanted to stay in the Senate.

Rubio has remained comfortably in the lead in public polls. Real Clear Politics polling average gives Rubio a 4.2 point lead. One gets a hint of what internal Democratic Party polls are saying by the fact that the DSCC  and the Super Majority PAC (led by Sens. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer) have pulled out of Florida claiming the state is too expensive (it wasn't less expensive when they planned to support Murphy).

There have been missteps. Rubio challenged Murphy to six debates. Murphy should have accepted immediately and insisted that debates start that week. Instead, he turned it into a debate about debates saying he wanted Rubio to commit to a 6-year term.

Murphy's team loves the 6-year term argument. It has become a central point of their campaign. Perhaps there are voters who care but not many. Running for higher office in the middle of one's term is well, part of American politics. Few will be shocked if Rubio runs for president again in 2020.

Murphy's exaggerated resume landed him in deep trouble. In June, CBS4 investigative reporter Jim Defede nailed Muprhy for claiming he worked as a CPA when he did not and for starting a small business which in fact it is not that simple.

This was fall on your sword time. Instead, Murphy and his team counterattacked. It didn't work and kept the story alive. And handed Rubio a campaign message to use against Murphy.

Continue reading "Can Hillary Clinton drag Patrick Murphy over the finish line" »

This is why Marco Rubio still endorses Donald Trump


No one has ever accused Marco Rubio of being one of Florida's - or the nation's - most courageous politicians. Like most, Rubio first does what is best for Rubio. And right now for him, there is more risk in not endorsing Donald Trump than in abandoning him.

Clearly, Rubio can't stomach Trump. His feeble excuse for continuing to endorse Trump is trapped in the silly putty logic that suggests as troublesome as Trump is, Rubio is even more troubled by Hillary Clinton's policies.


Rubio is simply trapped by the fear that if he dumps Trump, he will tick off a lot of conservative Florida Republicans who might decide to punish Rubio by skipping the U.S. Senate race on the ballot - or, though less likely, voting for his Democratic rival Patrick Murphy.

Trump will do very well with voters in the Panhandle and other parts of North and Central Florida. Trump will also do well in Southwest Florida. If the Senate race is a close one, it would not take too many Republicans deserting Rubio to put the race in question. 

Why take the risk?

Murphy's campaign has been unimpressive. Many voters still don't know who Murphy is. The Democrat is hoping that by linking Rubio to Trump, Democrats and independents (and perhaps a few Trump-abandoning Republicans) will put him over the top.

It remains a tall order.

For now, Rubio is the likely winner. What Rubio loses is an opportunity to be a real leader by taking a stand and withdrawing his endorsement of Trump. 

Unless of course, Rubio really believes in his heart that Donald Trump should be in the Oval Office. And if that is true - it begs a number of questions about Rubio's judgement.