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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A Movie Opening?




A new amusement park ride? None of the above. The reason for the searchlights scanning the St. Petersburg skyline: Charlie Crist is on the ballot.


Crist, whose campaign's party is at the swanky 1920's Vinoy Hotel for the second time in two months, has pulled out all the stops. Besides the pickup outside the entrance to the ballroom with the bank of searchlights, campaign staffers are handing out drink tickets while the Vinoy staff is setting up the two-table, double-sided, 20-foot buffet: Five Spice Tuna, antipasto extraordinaire, lamb chops, Beef Wellington....For those of you who haven't had dinner yet, or are at the Jim Davis party, Buzz won't go on.

That's what happens when you raise $20-million in hard money and have a party raking in another $40-million since the primary. You didn't think they spent it all on TV ads, did you?

Other scene setting: four huge nets of suspended red, white and blue balloons and another net full filled with helium balloons in front of the stage that will float upward as the others come down. And two giant screen TV's for returns plus two gigantic Crist banners, one sporting Crist's picture that is at least 15 feet tall.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:38am]


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