1. The Buzz

Andrew Gillum joins CNN as a political commentator

He joins a slew of political candidates who lost races in 2018 and are now moving into television.
Andrew Gillum the Democrat candidate for governor in 2018, speaking at a news conference in November. [Associated Press]
Andrew Gillum the Democrat candidate for governor in 2018, speaking at a news conference in November. [Associated Press]
Published Jan. 29, 2019

The election may be over, but Andrew Gillum isn’t leaving your television screen.

The former Florida gubernatorial candidate announced Tuesday he is joining CNN as a political commentator, the latest 2018 also-ran to snag a television gig.

“Thrilled to be joining CNN as a political commentator,” Gillum tweeted.

Gillum, whose recent meetings with Barack Obama and big-time Democratic donors fueled speculation about a 2020 bid for president, is still facing political trouble from his time as mayor of Tallahassee.

The CNN announcement comes on the heels of an advancing ethics complaint alleging Gillum flouted ethics laws on two trips in 2016. The trips, to Costa Rica and New York City, were taken with a lobbyist and former friend who is believed to be a center of an FBI investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee, and the second trip also included two undercover agents who were part of the investigation.

Though the ethics complaint itself is not directly linked to the investigation, both were used to attack Gillum during his contentious run for governor last year. Gillum has maintained he committed no wrongdoing. A state commission found probable cause late last week on five of six counts, meaning the case will proceed to an administrative law judge sometime in the next several weeks.

Gillum won the Democratic primary in an upset but lost the general election to Republican Ron DeSantis after a recount. He was hammered during the campaign for being a “socialist” by Republicans, though he recently came out in favor of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

Gillum joins a slew of 2018 losers who are jumping into television. Former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo joined NBC and MSNBC as political analysts, while former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced Tuesday that he’s joining CBS as a political commentator.

CNN is a frequent target of attacks from President Donald Trump and his supporters.


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