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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mixed messages on Fla from Team Romney



Despite developments like former Top adviser Mitt Romney adviser Sally Bradshaw of Tallahassee going to work for  Haley Barbour, Mitt Romney has a lot of financial and grass roots good will in Florida built up. That either makes Florida's Sept., 2011 GOP straw poll and likely January or February, 2012 primary  a big help to Romney's presidential campaign or an expensive distraction where he can't afford to come in second in either the straw poll or primary.

Florida political leaders want to hold their primary just after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, but it's not clear they realize the how intense the anger and backlash is from the RNC and GOP activists in other states about Fla causing a carefully calibrated nominating schedule to implode.

Witness the mixed messages coming from the Romney camp today. In the Wall Street Journal, Romney implied he welcomed the Florida GOP's move to bust the official schedule and again have an outsized influence on the nomination: "He (Romney) said he expected to win in Nevada, as he did in 2008, and that he saw Florida's primary as pivotal, with only two candidates likely to emerge from that state able to compete in the later primaries."

But in Politico former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, expected to be a Romney backer again, was, well, a tad less enthusiastic about the Sunshine state's maneuvers. From John Martin: And (Sununu) lacerated Florida Republicans for threatening to move up their primary and disturb the calendar he helped devise as a member of the RNC.

“They may end up losing the convention if they keep playing games,” said Sununu. “It’s not the date that makes the impact. You have to have citizens that are truly involved in the primary. Florida is going to hold an early primary and eight percent of the voters are going to show up, most of them by mistake. So what is the value of a primary that doesn’t attract people to vote. Eighty percent of people in Florida at that time are not Floridians. Why are you going to ruin your tourist season?”

Eighty percent of the people in Fla in January are tourists? Wow. Just as 96 percent of New Hampshire residents are "flinty," 68% are sitting state legislators, 2% aren't white, and 100% could barely elect an at-large county commissioner in many of Florida's 67 Florida counties.



[Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:01pm]


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