Democrats Almost Don’t Care Who Takes On Rick Scott

June 16, 2013

Democrats gathering for their annual fundraising dinner at the Westin Diplomat Resort on Saturday were certain of one thing: They will defeat Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a little more than a year.

“Rick Scott will be a one-term governor,” declared Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant to the 1,300 who gathered in a ballroom for the dinner. “Come January 2015, Rick Scott will hand the keys to the Governor’s Mansion over to Democratic hands.”

But which hands will receive those keys, should Tant’s vision of the future come true, remains unclear.

Democrats have a few potential candidates to take on Scott in 2014, when the so-far unpopular governor goes back before voters. But they have a shortage of declared candidates; the only one who has currently said she’s running is former state Sen. Nan Rich, whose exclusion from the speaker’s list at Saturday’s event drew publicity. (Tant said she was going to send an in-kind contribution reporting form to Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry for calling attention to the flap — and the dinner.)

The three other candidates most often mentioned — former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who has since switched parties; former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who came up just short of beating Scott as the party’s nominee in 2010; and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the only remaining Democrat in statewide office — have said they haven’t made up their mind yet or, in Nelson’s case, denied any interest at all.

And so what appears to be unprecedented enthusiasm among Democrats to win in 2014, with the dinner raising a record of $850,000 in confirmed contributions, is so far pointed against Scott even with the lack of a single candidate who has cleared the field.

“What it shows you is that people are so anxious for a change they almost don’t care who the person is,” Tant said shortly before the event.

National party officials are also, so far, unconcerned.

“I think whoever the Democratic nominee is will beat Rick Scott,” said Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who doubles as chair of the Democratic National Committee. “…It’s just going to be a matter of who is going to be able to get organized and focused and build the momentum.”

The undeclared candidates are so far playing things close to the vest.

“Obviously, I’m giving it very serious consideration, and I’m looking forward to making a decision before too long,” Crist told reporters who asked about a potential run.

And while he might demur on whether he’ll take on Scott, Crist was ready when asked about the incumbent’s focus on the job losses of Crist’s term and the job gains in more recent years.

“I’m not going to take credit for the global economic meltdown, and I don’t think he should take credit for the jobs that are coming in thanks to President Obama,” Crist said.

Sink said she hasn’t ruled out taking another shot at Scott, but said one of the largest factors in her decision right now is whether she could see herself taking on the race without the late Bill McBride, her husband.

“He very much wanted me to run again,” she said. “But, you know, he’s not here to go home to every night and be my cheerleader.”

The one who has been most emphatic about his intentions is Nelson, who once again told reporters that he wasn’t looking to throw his hat in the ring.

“First of all, you’ve heard me say it 100 times, and I’ll say it again: I have no plans to run for governor. I have no intention of running for governor,” he said.

But Nelson ripped into Scott during his speech at the dinner, and has continued to draw rumors about a possible bid — something he dismissed as a result of some of the unpopular stances Scott has taken.

“That’s why people are upset,” Nelson said. “And they’re looking for someone that can take him on and win.”

Others seem more than happy to float trial balloons for Nelson. During her remarks to the dinner, Wasserman Schultz noted that Nelson had gone from a state legislator to congressman to Florida insurance commissioner to U.S. Senator.

“Now, there seems to be a pattern here,” she said. “Tallahassee, DC, Tallahassee, DC. Hmm. Just saying. Just an observation.”

There were laughs and some scattered applause.

By Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida


21 Responses to “Democrats Almost Don’t Care Who Takes On Rick Scott”

  1. 429SCJ on June 19th, 2013 5:58 am

    Follow every president since Woodrow Wilson be he democrat or Republican, the same old agenda marches on.

    America fights wars, the fed loans them money out of air to fight those wars and we pay the price plus interest.

    The neocons are here and ruling, they have been for a long time.

  2. Bob Hudsun on June 17th, 2013 4:37 pm

    I notice none of the more liberal side, wishes to defend the corrupt party of democrats.

  3. Bob Hudsun on June 17th, 2013 11:21 am

    ,Well as a life long democrat, (not any more ) this delibrate act , of forcing it to a vote broke my heart. And thanks for the correction, personal choice but the party has gotten about as anti-God as you can get.Guess I should be happy , at least it forced them to admit what they wish to stand for.So be it.

  4. Bob Hudsun on June 17th, 2013 11:06 am

    Henry I forgot,Califronia, has pretty much always be under liberal rule, least in my life time, now all liberals are democrats(or they vote that way)( no offence to my blue dog friends ) but now days most democrat’s are liberals, there is no creature known as a( liberal conservative) if there is it is very rare.Now back to my point it is the liberal policies aka( democrat) that have drive this state in to ruin tax every thing, and every one,gun control, well every body know how messed up it is, its so bad even the liberals are leaving. Like rats on a sinking ship, and they are the one’s who chewed a hole in the bottom of the boat. Now I hear the northern part of the state is like the panhandle,or some what like us, Well look t Florida we are being invaded by liberals in the south, look how they vote, now I do not want this to happen to MY state.

  5. David Huie Green on June 17th, 2013 10:32 am

    “Bible say ( If you are not with me you are against me) and that is all that really matters”

    Actually, it can go either way, please consider:

    Matthew 12:30
    “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

    Mark 9:40
    “For he that is not against us is on our part.”

    Luke 9:50
    “ And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

    So sometimes Christ said if you weren’t with Him, you were against Him, other times He said if you weren’t against Him, you were with Him.

    And let’s be honest, a person who claims to be with God is not always a person who actually IS with God. The very process of adopting a statement of favor by fifty percent plus one ignores the personal decision aspect of the matter. The 50 percent less one are still not. Thus, in this it is reasonable to leave it a personal matter rather than a party matter. (Did you REALLY want the party of Barney Frank to come out as allies of the Lord?)

    David for honesty

  6. Bob Hudsun on June 17th, 2013 8:57 am

    I was a blue dog dem for 27 years, but when they thru God under the bus in the last election, that was the straw that broke the camels back, that vote on the floor was one of the most digusting things, I have witness in any election, Bible say ( If you are not with me you are against me) and that is all that really matters, well they picked, and so did I

  7. Bob Hudsun on June 17th, 2013 8:48 am

    Henry you talk but you say nothing, So we we we are to trust a group that does not want God in their platform , Henry that is anti-God. We are to trust a party that supports the aborting of children, and any thing else they can get away with, that’s called murder, We are to trust a white house and state department, democrat’s of course, to lie to us about, what really happen to get 4 Americians killed? We are to trust the democrat’s when they call us paranoid , about the FACT the IRS was told from Washington to target TEA- party, and conservitive groups. We are to trust a democratic DOJ Eric Holder, who lost almost 2000 guns in Mexico.? And they know nothing of all these thing ? Amazing., your president is going to Afica and is going to blow some where between 80 and 100 million dollars, Oh Please Henry enlighten us on how we can trust these current democrats?????????? Obama, no one is reading your email, REALLY??LOL the man is a stone cold LIAR !! Oh may be he does not want our guns, nope he want those and every thing else, defend this if you can. Democrats are unfit to govern.

  8. David Huie Green on June 17th, 2013 8:24 am

    “- – - – David Huie Green
    All of you guys seemed to have laid out the GOP campaign strategy for 2014. It’s pretty much what I expected,lol. – - – I’d like to see real political discourse. Not Tea Party folks”

    As usual, your prejudices are showing.

    You lump me in with the Republicans and the Tea Party whereas I’m a registered Democrat and have been since October 6, 1972 and have never had any dealings with the TEA Party. This makes my point that there are a wide range of differences within our party including those who just assume all party members have to think exactly like they do or they must be the enemy. You are the ones who can’t understand how it is with Democrats outnumbering Republicans, Republicans are often elected over Democrats — thinking party should be enough to win the day.

    And this is why we Democrats so often lose elections, our members are unbalanced and the leadership — such as it is — is only interested in party politics rather than reason. For some, the only difference between them and some of the Republicans is the team for whom they root.

    David for good candidates, not party parrots

  9. lynsue on June 17th, 2013 8:17 am

    I have one question/statement. When Charles Crist was a Republican running for senate the Democrats all said he was gay and told all kinds of lies. Since he has switched parties will they recant all the junk and be best buds…just saying….

  10. 429SCJ on June 17th, 2013 7:33 am

    @Henry COE, when I was a child we had no problem with God and government as we were one nation under God, indivisible; then along came the neo-cons with their money, influence and lawyers.

    When the constraints imposed on Christians by the neocons are removed by the inevitability of economic transition via the deficit; the road to change and the removal of the neocons will be open. Amen.

  11. Henry Coe on June 17th, 2013 7:21 am

    Ross Calloway, Bob Hudsun, 429SCJ, David Huie Green

    All of you guys seemed to have laid out the GOP campaign strategy for 2014. It’s pretty much what I expected,lol.

    Um Bob, IMO, God should not be used as a political prop. As far as I can tell, the Biblical example regarding God and Government is to leave God out of government or in the case of Moses, while that was OT, he did get out of government to serve God.
    I think Legislating Morality based on one’s religious beliefs is to choke out Liberty or even a God given right to free will and choice, if you believe such things. Just some thoughts to consider.

    I’d like to see real political discourse. Not Tea Party folks rallying and ruining town meetings and not campaigning from the right based in emotionally manipulated fear about what pretend things might happen if a Democrat is elected when you offer no substantial rational for why the Republican should be elected. Which is the same thing as the previous point I made. Maybe wording it different can help.

    There is no reasons Republicans should want to elect a candidate that they know nothing about. Republicans shouldn’t have to use smear & hate tactics about the Left if they have a legitimate candidate on the Right they are try to elect.
    In other words, if you are putting party before country, you are wrong.
    I know Conservative Media teaches you that the Left doesn’t care about America, but they lie or are deceptive about all kinds of stuff including that.

    I’m sure for Baby Boomer Conservatives my words go in one ear and out the other or the thought for a retort is about how all the other media is Liberal and blah, blah, blah, which is just a non-talking point in rhetoric chatter that leaves everything exactly the same, which is frustrating. The day when the BB Conservatives have little to no impact in American politics, IMO, will be a very good day and a time when taking care of business will be the focus in taking care of business as history will have taught us how much time was wasted in American Government from the 1980’s to about another 10 or 20 years.
    Btw Bob, California politics is absolutely nothing like Florida politics and comparing the two to make a point, doesn’t make a point. Just sayin’

  12. Ross Calloway on June 16th, 2013 10:40 pm

    Yeah. Convince Bill Nelson to run. Convince him he’d win by 20 points. So Scott can beat him and send him to the old folks home for the sick and tired Libs.

  13. Bob Hudsun on June 16th, 2013 9:59 pm

    What a joke Henry, seems the demo’s are the one’s are the one’s so well at telling lies’ and yet some people are still stupid enough to believe them, or are all these scandals just us being (paranoid)???? Oh and I’m sure he would never want to take our guns would he, well Nelson would, don’t know about Sink, Crist use to be supportive of the NRA,, but pretty much if its a democrat , it will be voted against , as most of the us blue dogs have left the party that has forsaken God. Look what the lids/dems have done to California . And we sure don’t want to end up like them.

  14. 429SCJ on June 16th, 2013 8:12 pm

    @Henry Coe, I remember seeing a campaign ad in which I observed Senator Nelson morph into what exactly I am not sure.

  15. David Huie Green on June 16th, 2013 2:27 pm

    If they really don’t care, they can run me.
    I’ll teach them to care.

    David for better Democrats

  16. Henry Coe on June 16th, 2013 12:14 pm

    I can’t see Nelson giving up his Senate seat, so the idea of Nelson for Governor seems silly.
    I”d love to see Sink do it, but the loss of her husband is a really big life change for her and a campaign against Scott is going to be just as dirty as it was last time. Scott lied and smear McCullom to win the Primary election and he did the same to Sink in the General.
    Scott still has enough money to saturate the campaign with his propaganda and Florida Republicans are really gullible when it comes to being emotionally manipulated by the hate, fear and smear tactics (lies) that get used in every campaign.
    Crist record is that of a Republican, no matter what he calls himself, he hasn’t done anything as Democrat that makes him seem like a Democrat. He’s a Moderate Republican and those aren’t allowed in the GOP any more, so all I see Crist doing is splitting the vote. Which side that would help? Probably the Right, but it is way to early to say.
    I’m really looking forward to another campaign season of Republican hate, fear and smear campaign tactics that always seems to help them elect candidates that are horrible for Florida. Yippee!

  17. Bob Hudsun on June 16th, 2013 9:15 am

    Sorry no go , we do not need a dem, to do to Fla, what obams has done to this nation., hopefully they will run some one that is anti-gun, that will be a loser for sure

  18. Frank on June 16th, 2013 8:24 am

    Crist needs to look at the Red states vs Blue states and say Obama is adding the jobs? ….ASK California, for example?

  19. Just say no to incumbents on June 16th, 2013 7:59 am

    In my experience, the longer a politician stays in office, the less they concern themselves with the desires or wishes of their constituents and the more entrenched they become in the political machinery that runs on our tax dollars. Scott has been the epitome of this philosophy. Needless to say, Scott will not be receiving my vote this go around.

  20. just saying on June 16th, 2013 7:06 am

    No way. Rick Scott has done more good for this state than the two previous governers combined.

  21. 429SCJ on June 16th, 2013 6:31 am

    I can understand the confidence of the Democrats. It was like after 8 years of Cheney/Bush, most voters were ready to accept any change offered, by anyone offering it.

    On a historical note, You could not have had Obama’s victory in 2008, without the eight year ordeal of Cheney/Bush. They paved the way for change, any change that came down the pike.