Friday, June 6, 2008

It's Florida, So What Do You Expect (but we need to listen)

I travel a lot in the state of Florida. Although I'm a Central Florida Democrat, I spend a great deal of my time traveling the state. It's becomingm less rare to hear a political conversation at a bar or in a restaurant but it caught my attention tonight when I heard a fairly heated debate at a "local" dining establishment in St. Petersburg.

This is the area that gave us Katherine Harris and then Vern Buchanon and Christina Jennings. The paper, St. Petersburg Times, is almost reliable moderately Democratic. The area has a TON of seniors and almost all of them vote. Here's a synopsis of what I heard:

- I'm really a Hillary supporter.

- I can't vote for Obama.

- I'll vote for McCain first.

- If he picks Hillary, I might vote for him.

- Without Hillary, he's dead.

People, these are direct quotes. The extended conversation was much worse.

Aftermath, I asked the couple sitting next to us why they would vote for Hillary but not Obama, especially when their philosophies were so much more similar than Clinton/McCain. (Please bear in mind that I have been a Hillary supporter since Edwards left the race but don't trumpet it here on these pages. Also, the west coast of Florida is a retirement hotbed, but not full of Jewish retirement communities as Broward and Palm Beach Counties).

Wow! It was like the best of a townhall meeting. Everyone had a word but almost all espressed that Barak Obama was tied too closely to Islamic fascism - Hussien, you know. WHAT??????

Obviously, there is only one correct answer, but it strikes me that VOTING Democratic voters are falling for the swiftboating of Obama. This leads me to believe two things"

- Obama better get on the message of USA! USA! USA! far beyond where he is.


- Hillary better do all of her Democratic supporters proud and stand up for our party's nominee. I'll be looking for that in her Saturday speech - VP nomination nothwithstanding. We have so much to lose.

I've heard a good deal about who could deliver Florida. Bob Graham, whom I truly admire, has been named. Based on my extensive travels of the state, if Florida is a must win, I believe the answer is "Hillary" and I think she adds something to the "women" ticket.

That said, I think we have a whole lot of other choices. I'm waiting while we, the BLOG world, vet the possible candidates. We'll do a much better job than the "traditional channels".