As the hosts of the 2012 GOP Convention Florida’s Republicans were put out front for the nation to see.
With the spotlight on Florida, some local GOPers came up big while others fell flat.
Here is a scorecard:
Rep. Connie Mack
Intellectual lightweight gave the best performance of a Florida Republican. Sentimental, nostalgic, a return to the 1950s all on display. Red meat for the right wingers and traditionalists in Florida who need to turn out for Mack to have any chance to defeat Bill Nelson.
Governor Jeb Bush
Focused on school “choice” and despite being the intellectual heavyweight of the national GOP, was shoved aside in his home state. Should have played a much bigger role in this convention as the Republicans have over-estimated “Bush-fatigue” nationally and under-estimated the power of ideas. Bush’s grade more a reflection of the poor convention planning than his own performance.
Senator Marco Rubio
Some loved his speech. I thought it was highly self-serving and reminiscent of the types of canned ideological speeches he’s given for years. Not enough Romney and too much Rubio. Of all the potential people to introduce Romney, Rubio was perhaps the worst choice. Still the speech itself was decent if you have not heard it before.
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Becoming a figure of great comedic value. Her railing against Health Care as a “federal imposition” and “socialism” is reminiscent of the Democratic Convention in 1948 when southern delegates walked out. Her star is fading after she has costs Florida taxpayers six figures in legal fees with frivolous, ideologically driven lawsuits.
Isaac threat not withstanding, Florida’s first major political convention in 40 years went off well. Credit to the city and Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat.
Governor Rick Scott
Handled himself exceptionally well during Isaac, showing an interest in governing over politics. His best week on the job. Democrats who think they can roll over him in 2014 are drinking the kool-aid. His most recent set of approval ratings are only slightly worse than Lawton Chiles were in 1992 and Jeb Bush’s in 2000. But unlike those two, he’s not a seasoned politico and may have tough sailing, but this was an excellent week for him.