Buzz names Winner and Loser of the Year!
Over the past year we watched our governor learn that Tampa Bay is a region in Florida, the "Taj Mahal" courthouse fiasco end the judicial career of a GOP power broker-turned appeals court judge, and GOP activists overwhelmingly declare Herman Cain their top choice for president.
Florida Republican leaders snubbed the national party for the second presidential cycle in a row by setting a January presidential primary, while Democrats showed us, er, nothing. Are there any relevant Democrats left in Florida politics besides Bill Nelson?
Lots of options for the political winners and losers of 2011. But there can only be one winner of the year and one loser of the year. Here we are:
Winner of the year
Jeb Bush. Absence makes the heart grow fonder every day, especially when Republicans compare the former Florida governor to the current field of presidential contenders and his two successors as governor.
Loser of the year
Mike Haridopolos. The Florida Senate president presided over an embarrassingly ugly session finale where he looked positively weepy about getting rolled by the Florida House. Then, before admitting that he lied to reporters about approving a severance deal for ousted GOP chairman Jim Greer, Haridopolos had to quit his collapsing U.S. Senate campaign that risked permanently damaging his political brand amid publicity about sweetheart book deals and consulting contracts he never could explain reasonably.