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Obama's Florida delegates get insecure feeling

If you're one of 67 delegates and alternate delegates for Barack Obama in Florida, beware. You may have a target on your back. The Obama campaign is looking at replacing some delegates elected in grass roots elections in Florida with hand-picked favorites.

Such a purge, Democratic National Committee member Jon Ausman warned in a mass e-mail last week, would be "detrimental to the unifying and healing process our party needs as we make plans to promote Sen. Obama's campaign."

Calm down, say Obama officials in Florida, stressing nothing has been decided yet. Finance chairman Kirk Wagar said at most 10 delegates could lose their status.

Unlike the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign, Obama's campaign did not approve a slate of delegates who ran in grass roots elections, and the national party is giving the campaign authority to sign off or reject whomever it wants.

McCain visits 'Political Connections'

Check out John McCain today on Political Connections on Bay News 9. He'll talk about Iraq, Charlie Crist's vice presidential prospects, and his appeal to Clinton supporters. The show airs at 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and also includes Democratic analyst Bob Buckhorn assessing the impact of Clinton's loss.

Crist still running strong in veepstakes …

The Veep-O-Meter remains strong for Crist, who was back at McCain's side throughout Florida last week. Crist also joined the GOP's favorite (quasi) Democrat, Joe Lieberman, who is leading "Citizens for McCain," a group aiming to court independents and Democrats to the McCain team.

Citizens is practically a club for vice presidential contenders from blue and purple states. Other members include Tom Ridge from Pennsylvania and Mitt Romney from Massachusetts.

… but his personal life is drawing attention

The Veep-O-Meter did slip a tad for Crist. First, some anti-abortion activists have been publicly bashing Crist as a terrible choice. Also, he and girlfriend Carole Rome have been in the unpresidential gossip columns a bit lately.

The Palm Beach Post looked at Rome's divorce file and found ample documentation of her lavish spending on mansions, nannies and chauffeurs. Then the New York Daily News used an unnamed source to gush about "the supertanned couple … talking marriage and have even looked at rings."

Said the tabloid: "Known for eye-popping, gravity-defying dresses like the backless, nearly frontless Dolce & Gabbana number she wore to a benefit … here Sunday, Rome ain't no Lynne Cheney."

Crist told Buzz the report of ring shopping is false. "We haven't," Crist said. "There's probably a reason why it was anonymous."

Bush winging into Naples for fundraiser

President Bush is to stop in Naples June 20 to raise money for Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz Balart from Miami.

Sandy Freedman steamed at her party

Count former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman among the many Democrats still seething over the Democratic primary and what she sees as rampant sexism in this country. She told Buzz she's not sure she'll vote for Obama (though definitely not McCain), and here's part of a letter she sent Clinton: "The blatant sexism and bias that we have seen is far more than any of us could have imagined. And, worst of all, was the silence by those who should have been most vocal about it — Obama, (Nancy) Pelosi, (Harry) Reid, (John) Dean, (Teddy) Kennedy and all of the others who for years have professed that our party stood taller for women than the Republicans. You have been there for us. THEY HAVE FAILED US.

"Much has been written and spoken during this campaign about a dialogue on race. Great oratory has been heard and columns have been read. But, nothing about a dialogue on gender — a far more insidious and covert action taking place in the workplace, on the playground, in the boardrooms and, yes, in our political life. After you have your much deserved rest, you can lead that national dialogue on gender. Not just with speeches, but with forums and town hall meetings around this country."

Endorse Obama? Uhhh, no, thank you

Confident about Obama's broad appeal to swing voters and Republicans? Well, Florida's most vulnerable Democratic U.S. House member, Tim Mahoney of Palm Beach Gardens, apparently is not so convinced. The businessman who won former Rep. Mark Foley's seat told Buzz he's not endorsing Obama even now that he has the nomination locked up.

"I'm doing what I was elected to do, and I don't think people elected me to be running around to cocktail parties endorsing people," Mahoney said. "If I had to take a look at where Sen. McCain stands today … and I look at how Obama stacks up to McCain, Obama is a better choice for Florida," he said. "But I got to do whatever I can to help McCain get right on these issues."

Translation: Keeping his distance.

Sink fighting gay marriage amendment

Democratic Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has joined the advisory board of Florida Red and Blue, fighting the anti-gay marriage amendment.

Wes Allison and Steve Bousquet contributed to this week's Buzz.

Obama's Florida delegates get insecure feeling 06/07/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2008 5:35pm]
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