Bill McCollum’s 14th campaign got off to a rather inauspicious start on a rainy Monday morning as he faced the press to announce a run for the GOP nomination to succeed Florida Governor Charlie Crist. As many political observers are noting, there’s not too much about Bill McCollum that excites Florida Republicans. Yet, in spite of the tens of millions wasted by donors on the failure of two of his last three statewide races, Republican leaders raced to Orlando to embrace him. While none of them expected an electrifying speech, they certainly couldn’t have been pleased with the kickoff.
For starters—an early Monday morning announcement to become the Governor of the state’s fourth largest state? Monday? To make matters worse, McCollum awakened to a broken blood vessel in his right eye—something that no candidate would want to have to deal with as they faced the media for their kickoff event. Further complicating matters, planning a “new media” campaign seems not to have been on McCollum’s agenda before the kickoff. His campaign website appears nowhere in the first five pages of a simple Google search. A Facebook page did go up tonight (he has garnered 19 supporters as of the posting of this article) and a Twitter profile was set up on Friday, but only appeared in the public search tonight. Imagery and marketing have never been McCollum’s strong point and that doesn’t seem to have changed with his latest campaign.
Even beyond the planning and imagery; however, McCollum struggled. Not wanting to alienate potential supporters, he declined to endorse in the contentious Crist vs. Rubio GOP Senate primary. Hours later , he retracted that statement, saying that “there is plenty of time for endorsements.”