Skip to main content

During the 2008 election cycle, I latched onto FL-15 as my personal lost cause among congressional races, diarying on it several times.

Here was the argument:

  1. Cook Report PVI rating of only R+4
  1. An open seat, with the retirement of Republican Dave Weldon.
  1. Local demographics were trending Democratic.
  1. Obama campaign was investing in the district.

Alas the Democrats (DCCC, DNC, State) ignored the race, Republican Bill Posey outspent our guy 9:1 and won 53%-42% (+13), while Obama lost by only 48-51 (+3), outperforming Kerry's 43-57 (+14) and Gore's 46-54 (+8).  

Now for the first time, FL-15 and Freshman Republican Bill Posey have made the national news and gotten our attention, too late to do any good: Posey has introduced the first national "Birther" bill.

Yup.  Predictably, joining the extreme wingnut wing of the wingnut wing of the Republican Party is the guy, the DCCC and DNC and local Florda Party couldn't be bothered to run seriously against.

Our candidate, Dr. Steve Blythe had gotten into the race when nobody else was interested because incumbent Republican Dave Weldon was still there. When Weldon retired and it became an open seat, the Democratic Party establishment still took a pass.

Now I will admit that Dr. Steve Blythe, though a great guy and a PNHP member (hence my knowledge of the campaign far away from my NYC home), was a first time candidate for any office and may have been too liberal for the district.

But still, the Democraitc Party blew this one:
Nobody well known stood up to run, even when Weldon retired.
For reasons I still do not understand, no more mainstream, experienced candidate was put forward by the Democrats, locally or nationally.
Dr. Steve Blythe is a beloved local physician, even if not a politician.
The district is not hard core right and with the NASA influence has an educated base, some environmentalists, its share of YUPPIES and others representing a shifting demogaphic.

Bottom line, despite the argument above HE HAD NO SUPPORT FROM DCCC or DNC!.  

And he never caught on, despite my feeble attempts, with the netroots.

Our guy had no institional party support, national, state or local; it was a pure shoestring local campaign, and for whatever reason never caught on with the netroots either.

I still think this shoud have been a winnable congressional seat though it would have required a real committenment from the party and probably a more experienced, well known and centrist candidate. As noted  above:

  1. Cook Report PVI rating of only R+4
  1. An open seat, with the retirement of Republican Dave Weldon.
  1. Local demographics were trending Democratic.
  1. Obama campaign was investing in the district, and outperformed history and the Posey-Blythe results, lost by only 3%, suggesting that a well funded, better known, less liberal, white, local figure could have won the congressional seat.

Posey is now more exposed as a nutjob.
This is the guy who during the campaign came out against SCHIP expansion on the basis that "those" people were just spending their money on bigscreen TV and wheels.

Now of course the Florida State Democratic party has woken up and noticed, but it would have been nice if they had done so when it could have done some good.
But now Posey is also an incumbent.
This was a classic lost opportunity.

Originally posted to DrSteveB on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site