Thursday, October 27, 2011

LeMieux falters, DC establishment panics, Team Hasner keeps marching forward

Awww. Another bad week for George LeMieux.

He has been completely unable to wash off the orange tint from his years with Crist. Since L'Affaire de Greer continues to be an irresistible story for Florida's political reporters, it's not going to get any easier for him. 

This was blatantly clear in an interview LeMieux gave to Adam Smith, in which I'm just going to assume he was extremely sleep deprived, because I cannot for the life of me figure out why a political candidate would say so many dumb things in one conversation. Either that or Charlie Crist has pretty low standards for what constitutes a "maestro." 

  • Lots of politicians send their children to private school. Fine. I'm not ever going to begrudge someone getting the best education possible for their children. But here's LeMieux, not only voluntarily bringing up the fact that his kids are in private school, but also highlighting the fact that the tuition at his four year old's school is more than it costs to go to the University of Florida. Many families can't afford private education for their children at all, especially in this economy, and LeMieux discussing how he's laying out big bucks for private preschool doesn't exactly help endear him to all of us unwashed peasants (i.e., the vast majority of the voters).
  • Better yet is the reason that LeMieux brought up how expensive his kid's preschool is: because he thinks the tuition at Florida's universities is too low. Yep, that's the exact thing that parents love to hear in the middle of a recession. If LeMieux wants to win over middle class voters, someone should tell him he is doing it wrong.
This interview came after a very disappointing third quarter fundraising for LeMieux. As the Crowley Political Report described it:
...the FEC report also suggests that LeMieux's campaign is having problems. 
He raised less money than Hasner in the three months ending Sept. 30. LeMieux raised $403,000, while Hasner collected $535,000. 
What does this mean? 
LeMieux may be in trouble. As a former U.S. Senator, appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist, LeMieux should have a wide network of folks ready to write a check. 
Apparently he does not. 
...Those [Republican primary] voters continue to choke on the fact that LeMieux and Crist were once joined at the hip. And LeMieux's effort to distance himself from Crist is a tough sell.
The gossip I've been hearing is that the D.C. establishment is viciously disappointed in LeMieux and losing faith in him faster than Lindsay Lohan collects new mug shots. 

Remember, LeMieux was a very vocal proponent for Charlie Crist when he was in the Senate, telling all his D.C. buddies that Crist was a sure thing and warning them not to support Marco Rubio because "the other shoe was going to drop very soon." Well, the shoe never dropped (and you better believe that if Crist or LeMieux had any more dirt on Rubio, they would have definitely used it in 2010), and now we've had the same Senators who backed Crist throw their weight behind LeMieux...only to watch him continue to flounder.

There's been some chatter during this race about whether Adam Hasner could be the "next Marco Rubio" (personally, I like how Erick Erickson explained it). One thing's for darn sure: no one is comparing Rubio to LeMieux. If you've ever seen LeMieux speak, "compelling" and "great public speaker" probably aren't the first things to come to mind. 

What LeMieux's strengths were supposed to be were his D.C. connections from having served in the Senate before, his own sharp political strategy, and fundraising power. Well, I'm questioning how sharp his strategy really is (come on now, blogrolls shouldn't be so hard to get right), and his fundraising seems to be following Wile E. Coyote off a cliff. LeMieux was never expected to be the tea party grassroots favorite, but it was assumed that he'd be a fundraising juggernaut and just truck over everyone else. Oops.

And this brings us to the oh-so-predictable news this week that the D.C. establishment sheep are panicking that their chosen one isn't cutting it. So what do they do? Recruit another establishment RINO into the race.

Yep. Cornelius H. McGillicuddy IV (that's his real name) is now saying that he is going to join the Senate race. Yaaaaawn.

Game on. RT @MarcACaputo Reconsideration alert: Connie Mack to enter US Senate race Oct 27 01:44:10 via web

Albert's right: Game on. Connie Mack will find that his path to victory is not as smooth as his Washington cronies are promising him. Why someone would give up a snuggly-safe Congressional seat (in a district that doesn't seem to mind that he spends a significant amount of time in California, nonetheless!) to jump into a grueling statewide race, I'll never understand.

And I don't know how many times we have to say this, but the NRSC seriously needs to leave us alone. Florida does just fine selecting our own candidates. We picked Marco Rubio, while John Cornyn wanted Charlie Crist and then Joe Scarborough (see my posts here and here). 

In the meantime, Team Hasner is happily rolling on. Adam continues to pick up more straw poll wins and great conservative endorsements. Make sure to sign up on Adam's Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @AdamHasner to get all the latest news! 

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