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Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

The Washington Post calls Political Editor Adam Smith a top political writer in Florida, and the Columbia Journalism Review has called him one of the top 10 political writers in America. He focuses on state and national politics, and is the creator of the award-winning Florida politics blog, The Buzz. Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians, he tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and hound dog.

Phone: (727) 893-8241

Email: asmith@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

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  1. Florida's 2018 governor's race out front at delegation breakfasts

    State Roundup

    PHILADELPHIA — Florida Democrats gathered in Pennsylvania this week may have been focused on electing Hillary Clinton in 2016, but they also witnessed unmistakable jockeying for Florida governor in 2018.

    We are in the invisible primary phase of that open governor's race, where prospects quietly lay groundwork and generate buzz among partisan activists and fundraisers who pay attention long before more sensible people do. ...

     Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn spoke to a large crowd at the Florida State Fairgrounds before the Hillary Clinton rally on July 22 in Tampa. (MONICA HERNDON   |   Times)
  2. Assessing the would-be Democratic governor candidates

    Blog

    PHILADELPHIA — Florida Democrats gathered in Pennsylvania this week may have been focused on electing Hillary Clinton in 2016, but they also witnessed unmistakable jockeying for Florida governor in 2018.

    We are in the invisible primary phase of that open governor's race, where the prospects quietly laying the groundwork and generate buzz among the partisan activists and fundraisers who pay attention long before more sensible people do. As hundreds of Florida delegates to the Democratic convention gathered for daily breakfasts this week in a downtown Marriott, three of the four leading prospects for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, and Miami Beach Mayor debuted stump speeches (or at least showed off their speaking skills). The fourth, state Sen Jeremy Ring of Broward County, did not attend, but the early Yahoo executive already is actively courting prospective donors nationally from the high tech world....

  3. Is it too late for Hillary Clinton to gain voters' trust?

    Blog

    ..."I have been struck — this is anecdotal, it's not statistically significant — in the last 48 hours of this convention how many Democrats, elected officials, I've had conversations with who said, 'I learned a lot of new things about her,' " said David Plouffe, who led Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and is advising Clinton's.

    Former state Sen. Nan Rich of Broward County has known Clinton for 31 years, since the first lady of Arkansas sought her help starting a preschool education program. Rich is convinced Clinton can reverse the negative perceptions....

    Few people have known Hillary Clinton longer than Alex Sink, Arthenia Joyner, and Nan Rich, together on the convention floor Wednesday night
  4. Hillary Clinton's challenge: Easing deep doubts about character, trustworthiness

    State Roundup

    PHILADELPHIA — The question tonight as Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic presidential nomination in the biggest speech of her life is whether it's too late to ease the deep doubts so many Americans have about her character and trustworthiness.

    Maybe there have been too many scandals like her private email server that exposed sensitive State Department communications. Too many $225,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs. Too many questionable donors writing big checks to the Clinton Foundation. Too many people claiming the Clintons murdered Vince Foster. And too many news clips where she seemed to be parsing every word out of her mouth....

    Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders attend a rally Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton faces a challenge to improve her negative image.
  5. Tim Kaine, Robby Mook wake up Florida Democrats

    Blog

    PHILADELPHIA —  Florida Democratic convention delegates were straggling into to the Marriott ballroom for breakfast Wednesday morning, when vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine slipped into the room with his wife, Anne. A lot of delegates hadn't even arrived yet, but those who had were thrilled.

    "This election is about whether we're going to build a community of inclusion and respect, that beloved community that Dr. King talked about. Or whether it's going to be okay to trash somebody if they're disabled, to make fun of someone if they're Mexican American or Latinos, whether they're a new immigrant, or a Latina governor or a federal judge, to Donald Trump everybody's second class," Kaine said. "We don't believe in second class. We believe everybody's first class, and that's what this election is all about."...

     Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, during a sound check and walk through at the Wells Fargo Center on the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
  6. Get ready for the Gwen Graham for governor campaign

    Blog

    Florida Democrats are ready to elect another Clinton. How about another Graham?

    In a megastate where political dynasties are remarkably common (Bilirakis, Castor, Meek, Diaz-Balart, Mack) nobody should underestimate the strength of the most politically successful Democratic name in modern Florida history.

    That's especially true when the gregarious oldest daughter of former two-term governor and three-term U.S. Sen. Bob Graham has already shown her considerable political skill. In 2014, she defeated a GOP congressman in heavily Republican north Florida....

  7. Hillary Clinton makes history as Democratic presidential nominee

    State Roundup

    PHILADELPHIA

    Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday as the first woman nominated for president of the United States by a major political party, and her party immediately sought to humanize a nominee who is at once among America's best-known and least-known political figure.

    "I move that all votes, all votes cast by delegates be reflected in the official record and I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States," said former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a show of unity that stirred roars of approval inside the Wells Fargo Center but failed to dissuade hundreds of his supporters from walking out in protest....

    In her speech, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned of Donald Trump’s “strange admiration for dictators.’’
  8. For Graham family, it may be time for another of them to run for Florida governor

    State Roundup

    PHILADELPHIA

    Florida Democrats are ready to elect another Clinton. How about another Graham?

    In a megastate where political dynasties are remarkably common (Bilirakis, Castor, Meek, Diaz-Balart, Mack) nobody should underestimate the strength of the most politically successful Democratic name in modern Florida history.

    That's especially true when the gregarious oldest daughter of former two-term governor and three-term U.S. Sen. Bob Graham has already shown her considerable political skill. In 2014, she defeated a GOP congressman in heavily Republican north Florida....

    Bob Graham, former governor and senator, sits with his wife, Adele, left, and their daughter, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham.
  9. Adam C. Smith: Bernie Sanders supporters invoke mayhem but to what end?

    State Roundup

    PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic National Convention looked like it would be a layup for Hillary Clinton after the Ted Cruz jeers, the mob-like "Lock her up!" chants, and the apocalyptic portrait of America painted by Donald Trump last week. Democrats merely needed to show themselves to be reasonably sane, unified, optimistic and competent to come out ahead.

    Instead, Bernie Sanders supporters decided the smart play was to boo when Sanders urged support for the presumptive Democratic nominee, chant "Lock her up" when Clinton's name was mentioned at a downtown rally, and heckle U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings as he spoke about his dead father. Just in case some television viewers disagreed with Trump that America was beset by mayhem and lawlessness, Sanders supporters did their part to make his case....

    Supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders silently protest at the Wells Fargo Center on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday.  Sanders asked for support for Hillary Clinton and was booed.
  10. The T-shirt sending Bernie Sanders fans off the deep end

    Blog

    PHILADELPHIA  "This is somebody's sick sense of humor. It's a cruel joke. They obviously want to make him look like some kind of ogre," said Karen Bernal, a Bernie Sanders delegate from California.

    Other Bernie fans looking at the official merchandise on sale looked at the sole Bernie Sanders T-shirt on sale and responded with profanity. The consensus is someone in Hillaryworld or DNCworld chose the most unflattering image of Sanders they could find....

    Bernie Sanders tee shirt
  11. Andrew Gillum at Democratic convention: World is scary enough without more pols inciting more

    Blog

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the only Florida Democrat speaking at the Democratic National Conventoion Wednesday. Some excerpts:

    "The world can feel scary enough - without so-called leaders inciting fear for political gain. "

    "Every day - black parents send their sons out with a deep sense of anxiety, hoping they will return safely. And every day- police officers kiss their loved ones heading to work – holding that same hope and similar fear in their hearts. "

    "In these times of anger and fear, we can’t afford to retreat to our respective corners.  We can’t let this animosity grow.  And we’ve seen examples of communities and law enforcement coming together in crisis. To grieve together, and help each other heal. That is how it is supposed to work – and it’s on all of us to make that a reality in our communities."

    "Because in the end, we all want the same things, and our fates are inextricably tied.  And together… with the right leadership… we can renew our trust in one another."
    ...

  12. Andrew Gillum at Democratic convention: World is scary enough without more pols inciting more

    Blog

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is the only Florida Democrat speaking at the Democratic National Conventoion. Some excerpts:

    "The world can feel scary enough - without so-called leaders inciting fear for political gain. "

    "Every day - black parents send their sons out with a deep sense of anxiety, hoping they will return safely. And every day- police officers kiss their loved ones heading to work – holding that same hope and similar fear in their hearts. "

    "In these times of anger and fear, we can’t afford to retreat to our respective corners.  We can’t let this animosity grow.  And we’ve seen examples of communities and law enforcement coming together in crisis. To grieve together, and help each other heal. That is how it is supposed to work – and it’s on all of us to make that a reality in our communities."

    "Because in the end, we all want the same things, and our fates are inextricably tied.  And together… with the right leadership… we can renew our trust in one another."
    ...

  13. Primary challenger Tim Canova to file FEC complaint against Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    Blog

    From Tim Canova, Debbie U.S. Rep. Wasserman Schults Democratic challenger:

    "Our lawyers are preparing a complaint against Wasserman Schultz that we will file with the FEC for her wrongful use of DNC resources in her campaign against me, based on the wikileaks disclosures."

    Among the leaked internal DNC emails was one from Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scot Arceneaux to the DNC, clarifying that the party granted Canova access to voter data after initially refusing:...

  14. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Blaise Ingoglia. The Florida GOP Chairman managed to give the state's delegates to the national convention a top-notch week in Cleveland, with A-list breakfast speakers, good parties and prime seat. He is the first Republican Chairman to pull that off with no help from the governor, since Rick Scott has essentially abandoned the Florida GOP to concentrate on his own political committee....

  15. Here's how Cleveland compared to Tampa as GOP convention site

    Blog

    Maybe Tampa was 10 years too early in hosting a political convention.

    I walked toward my gate Friday in Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport and, as I often do in airports, thought to myself how much nicer and easier Tampa International is.

    But this time — and not just because three different cheerful volunteers handed me free water and thanked me for coming to the convention — I had to admit Cleveland showed itself off better hosting the Republican National Convention than Tampa did four years ago....

    Adam Smith