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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement.

Alex is a graduate of Ithaca College (journalism/anthropology) and began his career at the Valley News in New Hampshire. Alex was born in La Crosse, Wis., and raised in upstate New York along with six brothers and sisters. He lives in Washington.

Phone: (202) 306-4807

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Merry Christmas


    Merry Christmas.

    Dasher, Dancer,
    Prancer, Vixen,
    Eisenhower, Kennedy,
    Johnson, Nixon,
    Dasher, Dancer,
    Prancer, Vixen
    Carter, Reagan,
    Bush and Clinton

  2. Jeb Bush's emails depict a hands-on Florida governor


    Washington Post:

    The new governor of Florida was feeling exhausted and beleaguered.

    It was after 10 o'clock at night, and Jeb Bush was still going through angry emails. He forwarded a message lambasting him as "NO CONSERVATIVE" to two top advisers, noting that he was answering such missives personally in absence of a better system.

    "Kind of scary and I am very tired," Bush wrote in January 1999....

  3. The softer side of Bill Nelson's pit bull


    Florida political reporters know Dan McLaughlin as a tenacious defender of his boss, Sen. Bill Nelson. If you haven’t been on the receiving end of one of McLaughlin’s profanity loaded rants, you’re not doing your job.

    But McLaughlin has a softer edge.

    A former Tampa Tribune reporter who landed his share of big stories, McLaughlin has a passion for painting. In recent years he's sent around a Christmas scene. This year’s depicts the Three Kings traveling along a beach, a palm tree in the foreground....

    2013 Christmas painting
  4. Poll: Broad support for ending trade embargo with Cuba


    From an ABC News release:

    Broad majorities of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll support establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, as well as ending the United States’ longstanding trade embargo and restrictions on travel to and from the Caribbean nation....

    ABC News poll
  5. Chris Christie says — what else? — Jeb Bush won't factor in presidential decision


    Not shocking that presidential hopefuls are saying Jeb Bush will play no role in their decision about running for president. The latest is Gov. Chris Christie, who was asked about Bush in an interview with NJTV, New Jersey's public broadcasting station.

    “It’s not one of my three questions,” Mr. Christie said when asked about Bush, according to the Wall Street Journal....

  6. Castor to hold community forum on Cuba


    Rep. Kathy Castor says she'll host community forum with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Tampa International Airport "to educate Tampa Bay families and businesses on the evolving landscape tied to President Barack Obama’s historic announcement last week to normalize relations with Cuba."

    "We will engage the entire community and work toward positive change that America’s policy shift will provide -- whether it is travel, trade or cultural exchange opportunities," said Castor, D-Tampa. The forum date has not yet been set....

  7. George Will says Rubio and Paul both right on Cuba


    George Will talking Sunday on Fox News.

  8. Video: Rubio hits the Sunday shows, talks Cuba, Jeb Bush


    UPDATE: Paul again took to Twitter. "@marcorubio forgot to mention his support for Obama's funding of Musl. Brotherhood, arming Islamic rebels, and Hillary's war in Libya." He then tweeted a photo of Thomas Jefferson.

    Sen. Marco Rubio was all over the Sunday political shows, talking about Cuba and Jeb Bush. "Look, if Rand Paul wants to align himself and become a supporter of the Obama foreign policy, particularly towards Cuba, he has a right to do that," Rubio said on Meet the Press. "My interest here is singular and that is freedom and democracy for the people of Cuba."...

  9. Just when you think Rubio's down ...


    A few days ago I was talking with another reporter, who remarked that Marco Rubio has been quiet lately. It's a pattern that's developed - the up and down of Marco Rubio - and true to form, the Florida Republican exploded back into the open.

    Unexpectedly. Over Cuba.

    Rubio has been on TV in a fever pitch, and Sunday he'll touch all the bases, appearing on Face the Nation, This Week, Meet the Press, Telemundo and Univision....

  10. Jeb Bush confronts DNC's 'silly talking points'


    Jeb put a twist on the opposition research game.

    After Demcorats circulated a list of "talking points" for officials to use against him (Politico has the story) Bush posted them on Facebook along with sermon in civility.

    "Everywhere I go, people tell me how tired they are of the dysfunctional, squabbling silliness of politics today," Bush wrote. "These silly talking points, misleading and misinformed as they are, show you just how void of ideas the Democrats have become after six years of poor results in every area of our nation’s business, from our struggling economy to our weakening position on the world stage....

  11. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul fight over Cuba in 2016 preview (w/video)

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio hit first.

    "He has no idea what he's talking about."

    The Florida Republican was on Fox News Thursday night reacting to Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and potential 2016 presidential rival to Rubio, who supported President Barack Obama's move to restore relations with Cuba.

    Friday, Paul hit back, launching a string of rebuttals and jeers on Twitter....

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
  12. Rubio says Paul has 'no idea what he's talking about' on Cuba


    UPDATE 12:46 p.m. : Paul just fired his own salvo via Twitter:

    He kept at it....

  13. If Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both run for president, Florida loyalty belongs to Bush

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio has a big Jeb Bush problem.

    More than a decade after Bush helped cultivate Rubio as a star in the Florida Legislature — literally giving him a sword as a symbol of maintaining the conservative flame — the two are on an awkward collision course over running for president in 2016.

    Former Gov. Bush crushed speculation he would not pursue a campaign by announcing Tuesday that he is "actively" exploring a run and setting up a political committee that will help him travel the country and fill out a political team. He huddled with donors in Miami on Wednesday then did the same in Chicago on Friday....

    Marco Rubio is greeted by Jeb Bush during an Election Night celebration at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on Nov. 2, 2010. Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate.
  14. Obama says Jeb has 'every right' to run for president


    ABC News: President Obama says he “loves” the Bush family personally and that former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush has “every right” to run in 2016.

    “The Bush family, I love personally,” Obama told ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir. “They are good people. Jeb's father, George H.W. has been here many times, in some cases with Jeb. And they are a great family, wonderful people. Obviously I have a lot of disagreements with Jeb and his brother on policy. But I think they have every right to do what they think is best.”...

  15. On Cuba, Rand Paul differs from potential rivals Bush, Rubio


    WASHINGTON (AP) - Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says starting to trade with Cuba "is probably a good idea" and the lengthy economic embargo against the communist island "just hasn't worked."

    Paul is the first potential Republican presidential candidate to offer some support for President Barack Obama's decision to seek to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba.

    Paul says in a radio interview Thursday with Tom Roten of News Talk 800 WVHU in Huntington, West Virginia, that many younger Cuban Americans support opening up trade with Cuba. He says many U.S. farmers support open trade with the country because it would be a new market for their crops....