Who should Progressives support to be the 2014 Democratic candidate against incumbent Florida Governor Rick Scott? I have set up a poll below.
Charlie Crist (who has a big primary lead, and a double-digit lead in the general election, in PPP’s recent opinion poll, per: http://www.dailykos.com/...) presumably would govern as the type of Independent that he ran as for Senator, before his recent conversion to the Democratic Party. As for his electability:
A group of prominent Democrats … sees Crist as a political opportunist whose betrayal of the GOP would unify Republican voters behind the unpopular incumbent, Rick Scott.
former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, whose own Senate bid in 2010 was doomed when Crist became an independent and siphoned away support from liberals and moderates [said former Miami Mayor] “Manny Diaz is a successful, proven leader, a friend to Democrats and a moderate with the ability to raise the resources to run,”(see: http://www.nationaljournal.com/...)
The Miami Herald has reported:
Diaz was a big help to Obama's Florida campaign as well. In the waning days of the election when he cut a Spanish-language ad rebutting a spot from Republican Mitt Romney's campaign, which suggested the president was a socialist.But other aspects of Diaz’s profile makes him appear no more, and perhaps less, attractive to Progressives than Crist -- as follows:
Diaz is also on good terms with former Baltimore Mayor and current Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who recently stepped down as head of the Democratic Governor's Association. (http://www.miamiherald.com/...)
[Manny Diaz is] an ex-Democrat who won elections in 2001 and 2005 as an independent … recently published a book recapping his political career with a foreword from his fellow independent and political ally, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.This is hardly the kind of profile that should motivate Progressives to keep the nomination from Crist, who is well-known statewide for his previous term as a relatively moderate Republican Governor, which might inoculate him against Rick Scott’s expected heavy spending on negative advertising.
Can any more-Progressive Democratic candidate win the primary and, in the general election, overcome Scott's advertising?
Can any more-Progressive Democratic candidate mount a strong enough primary campaign to pressure Crist and/or Diaz into committing to relatively Progressive policies (especially if Crist and Diaz split the centrist Democratic vote)?
Can the 2014 campaign for Governor be part of a surge to reverse the Florida situation described in the above article as follows?
the Democratic bench has thinned in the face of Republican domination for more than a decadeOne candidate, 70-year old former 12-year (term-limited in 2012) state legislator Nan Rich, is described in the above article as “a little-known liberal Democrat”, and had a virtually non-existent Web presence until recently posting a campaign website with an issues page that remains to be fleshed out.
It would be a pleasure to see recently elected second-time Congressman Alan Grayson bring his fearless, blunt and flamboyant truth-telling about Republican policies to a campaign against Rick Scott, but Grayson's unique presence would be missed in Washington DC.
Matt Damon, who combines strong Progressive views, activism (especially on third world access to clean water, per: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...) education, intelligence and articulateness with his movie star charisma and name recognition (general update at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...) lived for a number of years in the Miami area with his Argentina-born wife and four daughters. It appears (from Wikipedia) that they moved to New York in 2011. Presumably he could move back to Florida if he was willing to be drafted as a candidate for Governor.
If debating a Damon candidacy is not fun enough, then for more fun, should we consider whether Florida is the type of state where somebody can win a statewide campaign immediately after moving there (like Hillary Clinton in New York)? Several Democrats have experience as governors in cold weather states that have sent many retirees to Florida. Dr. Howard Dean's medical education and experience would contrast nicely with Scott's insurance industry profiteering. Kathleen Sebelius is probably still needed as US Secretary of Health and Human Services in order to effectively implement the Affordable Care Act nationwide. Ted Strickland should probably run again in Ohio if (now 71) he is up for another campaign and term in office.