Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alex Sink wins 'worst candidate' honors

In an election year that brought us Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Carl Paladino in New York, and Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, this is pretty tough: Alex Sink last week was named the worst candidate of 2010.

The citation came courtesy of Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd on MSNBC.

"It's unbelievable,'' Todd declared. "Think about it: You lost to a guy who defrauded Medicare — in Florida! Okay? More people on Medicare perhaps in the state of Florida per capita than maybe any other state!"

They were kind enough to show clips from a deer-in-headlights interview Sink had with Todd, where she was equal parts evasive and stammering.

Sink dismissed the criticism, saying her campaign came remarkably close to winning, given the Republican wave. She said she ignores the view of someone "who doesn't live in Florida" (Never mind that Todd grew up in Miami and his wife is from the Panhandle.)

Florida was doubly honored by Guthrie and Todd. Charlie Crist was a finalist for worst candidate along with Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller of Alaska.

Crist on tax cuts

Charlie and Carole Crist attended Barack Obama's Christmas reception at the White House Thursday night.

"I told him I thought he was moving in a good direction. I love the tax cuts,'' said Crist, who expects most of the moving out of the governor's mansion will occur this weekend.

He's a survivor

Pop quiz: Who is the longest serving Republican in either the U.S. House or Senate? It's U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young of Indian Shores, who turned 80 years old on Thursday.

The end of the 111th Congress represents his 50th year in office — 40 in Congress and 10 in the Florida Legislature. Young has served with eight U.S. presidents and has overseen the full House Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee, a panel he expects to chair in the 112th Congress.

Jeb or Marco?

It's not clear yet whether Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio is generating more chatter about running for president in 2012. An activist in Texas has started the site ("Every current Republican presidential candidate either has substantial baggage that makes them an inviting target for Obama or simply fails to inspire America to be great again. That's why we must draft Marco Rubio.")

And last week, Rubio's favored presidential contender in 2008, Mike Huckabee, told the National Journal he would not run in 2012 if Jeb Bush ran: "I love Jeb, I think he's brilliant," Huckabee said. "He could certainly raise the money, and I think he'd clear the deck."

Charisma contest

Brad Phillips, an ABC News and CNN alumnus, has posted an interesting study on his Mr. Media Training site, rating 18 potential GOP challengers to Barack Obama in 2012 based on their effectiveness communicating in front of the camera. It's a mighty subjective study, based on reviewing video of TV interviews. Rubio earns a solid A, compared with A- for Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee, B for John Thune, B-for Jeb Bush and C+ for Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint.

On Rubio: "In the television age, we have never had a contest between two more charismatic candidates. If Mr. Rubio runs, he would match well against President Obama's oratorical gifts. This guy's a phenom for a reason, and he earns the highest grade to date."

Political Connections

Check out state Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, on Political Connections today on Bay News 9 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Lucy Morgan and Janet Zink contributed to this week's Buzz.


of the week

Chuck Colson. The Naples resident, whose colleagues used to call the "evil genius" in the Nixon administration and who was said to have discussed firebombing the Brookings Institution, has found Florida to be the redemption state. In 2000, 25 years after Colson was released from prison on an obstruction of justice conviction, Jeb Bush pardoned the prison ministry leader. Last week, Governor-elect Rick Scott announced that Colson will speak at his inaugural prayer breakfast Jan. 4.


of the week

David Rivera. The soon-to-be congressman from Miami had long insisted he never received a dime from a dog track for which he helped win voter approval for Las Vegas-style slots in Miami-Dade. The Miami Herald reports that authorities are investigating $510,000 in secret payments the track made to a firm co-managed by Rivera's 70-year-old mom. Time to call a defense lawyer, congressman.

Alex Sink wins 'worst candidate' honors 12/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 18, 2010 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Wrong-way driver on Courtney Campbell Causeway intercepted by police, faces DUI charge

    Public Safety

    A woman driving in the wrong direction on the Courtney Campbell Causeway early Monday morning was intercepted by Tampa Police officers and faces a DUI charge.

  2. Relative 'devastated' after shooting kills 8 in Mississippi


    BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — Head in hands, his voice strained, Vincent Mitchell sat outside his little yellow home and tried to make sense of how a family dispute led to a rampage that killed eight people, including the deputy who tried to keep them safe.

    Christianna May-Kelly, center, is supported by family members as she cries after answering reporters questions outside her parents' home in Brookhaven, Miss., Sunday. May-Kelly said her parents and mother were among the people gunned down during a shooting in rural Mississippi Saturday night. [AP photo]
  3. Forecast: Sunny, clear Memorial Day ahead of increased rain chances throughout the week


    If you're planning on heading outside today for Memorial Day activities, the weather shouldn't get in the way.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  5. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.