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Weather could disrupt Tuesday's voting

Tropical Storm Fay made it a little more challenging for Fort Pierce voters to get to this early voting site.

Associated Press

Tropical Storm Fay made it a little more challenging for Fort Pierce voters to get to this early voting site.

Florida's weather can make for dicey campaigning. John Kerry lost weeks of crucial Florida campaign time during the treacherous hurricane season in 2004, and last week Tropical Storm Fay took a toll on the John McCain and Barack Obama campaigns.

Fay caused McCain to cancel a million-dollar fundraiser in Miami last week, and the Obama campaign pulled its TV ads across the state.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Kurt Browning was considering delaying Tuesday's elections in parts of the state hit hard by Fay. But he said he won't know for sure until Sunday or Monday, and he'll rely on what county supervisors of elections tell him.

Tale of two Hillarys — what happened?

Did Sen. Hillary Clinton get bad news in Florida? Her demeanor and mood appeared to sour between the two press conferences she gave following speeches first at Florida Atlantic University and later at the King's Point condo community on Thursday.

In the earlier press conference, Clinton was upbeat and spoke forcefully, with a quicker, more energetic cadence. She even blurted out a laugh, as a response to a question. During her later press conference, her eyes appeared sad and glossy, almost on the verge of tears. She spoke more slowly and plaintively and didn't crack much of a smile.

So what happened? Does she miss being the party's star in a state that adores her? Or did she get word about Barack Obama's veep pick?

When asked in the earlier press conference whether Obama has enough experience, she answered with a strong: "Absolutely. … This election is one of those historic moments. … I'm doing everything I can to campaign for Sen. Obama."

Later in the day, Clinton's answer was curt and defensive: "We are doing what the Obama campaign asked us to. I was asked to come here and I came. We have said we will do what we can and what we're asked to do. That's really in their hands as well."

Bilirakis' challengers

Want to size up the three Democrats running for the nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor? Check out John Dicks, Anita DePalma, and Bill Mitchell on Political Connections on Bay News 9 today at 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

GOP wins money war

The Republican Party of Florida raised $1.5-million more than the Florida Democratic Party in the latest quarter, but the GOP spent a lot more of its money from April to August, figures released Saturday show. RPOF raised $7,115,093 from April through Aug. 21, and spent all but about $74,000. Democrats took in $5,602,927 but held on to about $2.1-million. But a party spokeswoman said the number is misleading because the expenses include nearly $1.8-million in a transfer from a state to a federal fund.

Obama withdraws support he never gave

The Barack Obama campaign last week chastised Democratic state House District 59 candidate Warren Dawson for a mailer that includes a photo of Obama and "incorrectly suggests that he is supporting" Dawson over incumbent Democrat Betty Reed of Tampa. "The Obama campaign did not authorize and was not involved in the production or distribution of this document. Sen. Barack Obama has not endorsed Warren Dawson in the primary for District 59 State Representative," said Adora Andy, spokeswoman for the Obama campaign.

Jennifer Liberto, Alex Leary, and Jamal Thalji contributed to this week's Buzz.

Winner of the week

Nobody does televised empathy better than Gov. Charlie Crist, and he was all over the airwaves looking earnest and in command during Fay. As much as we hate any big storms hitting the state, Crist was winner of the week.

Loser of the week

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is one of the richest men in Congress thanks in part to his car dealerships. But those businesses have also made the Sarasota Republican the target of lawsuits in his own county. Ex-employees allege that his dealerships fabricated tax returns, falsified incomes to get loan applications approved and "powerbooked" — faked options to pump up the sales price.

Weather could disrupt Tuesday's voting 08/23/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 23, 2008 9:53pm]

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