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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Charismatic Bill McCollum for Governor

Funny piece from the St. Pete Times:

This is just what the Republican Party needs — fresh blood, a young buck, a visionary whippersnapper.

Enter Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a man never shy about resisting the burdens of charisma, who has proclaimed his desire to succeed Gov. Charlie Crist.

In an announcement that had all the thrilling excitement of a novena, McCollum, who will be 66 come election day next year, launched his gubernatorial bid surrounded by more middle-aged white men than the Gasparilla Krewe.

The aging Howdy Doody of Florida politics has held this strange sway over the state Republicans. For McCollum it is always his “turn” at bat, pursuing nominations for higher office as if it was a matter of sub-tropical Manifest Destiny.

Back in the 2000 U.S. Senate race, Tom Gallagher, an infinitely better candidate with superb retail stump skills, was pressured to step aside by Gov. Jeb Bush and other party leaders to make room for then U.S. Rep. McCollum. At the time, it was felt McCollum had earned the right to run against Bill Nelson based on his leading role in the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.

That’s not a political campaign. It’s awarding a nomination as if it was a Miss Congeniality contest. So McCollum won his party’s sash and now Bill Nelson is in his second term as Florida’s senior U.S. senator. Say, that was some keen political strategizing.

Now Florida’s Republican mandarins are once more lining up like Apollo Creed’s entourage in Rocky behind the Urkel of Tallahassee’s quest for the governor’s mansion.

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics,

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