Is Eric Lynn exaggerating his role in '08 Obama campaign?

Campaign Flyer for Eric Lynn
Campaign Flyer for Eric Lynn
Published Jan. 25, 2016

Eric Lynn advised President Barack Obama on national security issues during the president's 2008 campaign.

But was he "an advisor" or "the advisor?"

The anwer to that question may seem to be of interest only to status-conscious political insiders or, perhaps, to his opponent, but a Lynn campaign flier appears to leave little room for interpretation.

"He served as the candidate's national security advisor," the flier reads.

Lynn's campaign dismissed any speculation that Lynn is exaggerating his record.

"Any casual political observer knows that every presidential campaign has more than one national security advisor," said Bill Burton, who is advising Lynn on his bid to win the 13th Congressional Seat. "It's not in dispute that he was one of those advisors."

Burton served as a spokesman for Obama's 2008 campaign.

Susan Rice was most commonly referred to in press accounts as Obama's top national security advisor during the 2008 campaign. Rice now serves the president as his national security advisor. Lynn served in the Obama administration as a special advisor in the Department of Defense for six years.

Burton said that the fact that the flier doesn't capitalize "national security advisor" is telling. "That's probably important," he said.

And Burton attributed questions about the flier's accuracy to a ruffled Charlie Crist campaign.

"I can see why Charlie Crist would want to point out that out," Burton said. "Especially since all the local endorsements are going to Eric Lynn."

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has endorsed Lynn along with several Pinellas County democratic clubs and mayors of smaller municipalities as well as St. Petersburg council member Charlie Gerdes and Pinellas County School Board member Linda Lerner.

But U.S Rep. Kathy Castor, who represents the chunk of south St. Petersburg that will be part of the new district, has endorsed Crist. So has Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, St. Petersburg council member Darden Rice and Alex Sink, who was defeated by the current occupier of the seat, U.S. Rep. David Jolly.

Jolly isn't running for reeelction to the House seat, instead making a bid for the U.S. Senate.

Former governor Christ and Lynn are battling for the Democratic nomination in the 13th District, which skews much more heavily Democratic after court-ordered redrawn boundaries.

So far, the only Republican candidate in the 13th District race is retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Mark Bircher.

Crist's campaign declined comment.