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Clinton back on road for Obama in Florida

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech calling for support of Barack Obama was a hit at the Democratic convention.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech calling for support of Barack Obama was a hit at the Democratic convention.

Hillary Rodham Clinton makes a swing through Florida on behalf of Barack Obama on Monday. She will speak at a rally in Tampa at All Peoples Life Center, 6105 E Sligh Ave. Doors open at 5 p.m. Admission is free, but a ticket is required. They are available today at the following locations, first come, first served: Tampa Campaign for Change Office, 817 E Washington St., between noon and 9 p.m., or the North Tampa Campaign for Change Office, 14519 N 18th St., from noon to 9 p.m.

Agriculture post generates early interest

For the Buzz, it's never too early to consider the next election cycle. And for all the early speculation about whether Gov. Charlie Crist will face a serious challenger in 2010 and whether Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink will take on Sen. Mel Martinez, one of the most important races often gets overlooked: commissioner of agriculture and consumer services.

Incumbent Republican Charlie Bronson is leaving office, and politicos in both parties are buzzing with potential candidates for the Cabinet position. At the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last week, we spotted state Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, courting — and winning over — Republican activists to support his likely candidacy.

It could be a crowded primary. Other potential Republican contenders include state Reps. Marty Bowen of Haines City and Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven, and U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam of Bartow. Potential Democrats? The names we hear include state Rep. Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd of Monticello, and former state Reps. Rick Minton of Fort Pierce and Dwight Stansel of Wellborn.

Biden weighs in

Check out Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden today on the Political Connections show on Bay News 9. The Delaware senator weighs in on Sarah Palin, offshore drilling and more. The show airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

'Not ready to lead'

While John McCain was in the Twin Cities last week lamenting the partisan acrimony in Washington, his campaign began airing its first campaign ads in Florida — bashing Barack Obama. The spot running in the Tampa Bay area features images of Obama and Democratic senators, including Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.

"Barack Obama and out-of-touch congressional leaders have expensive plans — billions in new government spending, years of deficits, no balanced budgets and painful tax increases on working American families. They are ready to tax, ready to spend, but not ready to lead."

Palin pushes undecided

If the McCain camp hoped adding Sarah Palin to the ticket would pull in disillusioned Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters, it doesn't seem to be working so far. Palin prompted two prominent Tampa Bay Democrats who had been reluctant to vote for Obama, Hillsborough Clerk of Court Pat Frank and Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman, to swing to the Democratic nominee.

"I e-mailed about 20 or 30 like-minded Democrats that the Sarah Palin choice had pushed me over the edge. I'll be voting for Obama and am glad to see that he is finally tackling some of the issues that have kept me from doing so before — pay equity to be specific," said Freedman.

Elections not like the movies

Here's one Florida pol with keen memories of Florida's 2000 election who won't be renting the HBO flick Recount: Secretary of State Kurt Browning. "I just don't have any desire to see it," the former Pasco elections supervisor told a Pew Center forum last week in Minneapolis. Browning said Florida runs good elections and such films are often filled with inaccuracies.

Winner of the week

State GOP chairman Jim Greer managed to maneuver through national party leaders trying to block Florida Republicans from having a full delegation at the convention and a hurricane washing out the first night and still have lots of delegates praising the way he organized Florida's role in the convention. He also generated national buzz about him being a contender for chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Loser of the week

Once again the Florida Supreme Court dashed Jeb Bush's efforts to put in place a broad school voucher program in Florida. After the court knocked down two controversial constitutional amendment proposals dealing with vouchers, it's unclear where he goes. The Legislature's appetite for vouchers isn't great.

Clinton back on road for Obama in Florida 09/07/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 11:12am]
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