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Preview: The Tallahassee Sentinel

The Tallahassee Sentinel

A Conservative View from Florida's Capital

Updated: 2018-03-05T10:58:12.674-05:00


War Critics are Reversing Course


From Monday's NY Times:
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

Ok, so maybe Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon are not completely admitting that they've been wrong all along - but this is a start.
Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Despite the doom and gloom that one hears through the mainstream media every evening, Pollack and O'Hanlon report the truth about troop morale. It's about time!!

And finally they send a strong message to Congress (emphasis added):
But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

This just goes to show that if you wait long enough even the naysayers will come around.

Death of an Anti-communist: Mstislav Rostropovich, R.I.P.


From the BBC

The celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80.

A master musician, Mr Rostropovich was also renowned for his backing for human rights and opposition to Soviet rule.

He spent much of his career abroad, in self-imposed exile from the Soviet Union over his support for Nobel prize writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

But he returned as communism collapsed and performed a Bach suite as the Berlin Wall came down.

A month ago the Kremlin lavished praise on him as he celebrated his 80th birthday.

President Vladimir Putin said then the musician was not only "a brilliant cellist and gifted conductor," but also "a firm defender of human rights".

He died at a Moscow clinic after a long illness, his spokeswoman said.

Exile overseas

Mr Rostropovich studied at the Moscow Conservatoire under composers such as Sergei Prokofiev and Dimitry Shostakovich, rapidly building a reputation for himself.

But his support for dissidents such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn - declared in a letter to state-run newspaper Pravda - made him a target for the Russian authorities.

He left the Soviet Union and spent several years in the West with his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, and their children, as he continued to build an international career. In November 1989, he gave a spontaneous performance amid the rubble of the Berlin Wall, an image that was shown around the world.

A few years later, the cellist was rehabilitated by then Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and he returned there on several occasions to perform.

He latterly divided his time between Russia, the US and France.

In an interview with the BBC World Service in 2002, he said that the letter to Pravda was the best thing he had done in his life.

"The best step was not found in music, but in one page of this letter," he said. "Since that moment my conscience was clean and clear."

Read the BBC obituary here.

Now it's time to focus on property taxes


Now that the special session on property session is in the history books, it's time to start focusing on property taxes.

Be assured, liberals and the MSM will tell you that cutting property taxes will gut local budgets. They'll tell you that tax cutters are taking valuable education dollars out of the hands of educators. Don't fall for it!

Property tax reform will help ease the burden on homeowners and renters. It will also force local governments to cut the wasteful spending and inject some fiscal discipline into their budgetary processes. This is the thrust of Governor Crist's message:

His new pitch: Property taxes must come down, partly because city and county commissioners spend too much money.

Because state and local taxing power is controlled by the Florida Constitution, and thus requires a voter driven amendment to change, Crist and House Speaker Marco Rubio are advocating a special election as early as this summer.
Holding off until the next regular election in November 2008 would mean reforms
likely could not take effect until the following fiscal year, which would begin
Oct. 1, 2009, for many local governments.

"I always feel patience is a virtue, but on this issue I hope we'll be a little impatient," said Rubio, R-Coral Gables.

Under Rubio's scenario, a special election would be held this summer, followed by a special session in September for lawmakers to pass implementing legislation. That way, the reforms would be in place before city and county budgets take effect Oct. 1.

Senate Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, had previously advocated a special election.

Florida Senate leaders have also begun to work on the tax issue. Legislators have scheduled a series of public hearings to give citizens an opportunity to ask questions and give opinions. The first meeting was held today in Panama City. See the complete schedule here.

The Florida Senate has also posted a property tax test to help educate taxpayers. They have also setup an email address for citizens to submit comments.

Governor Crist campaigned on doubling the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. This would be a good start.

We will continue to follow this issue, and we'll also bring you proposals as they come available.

More proof that Donald is right - she's not very bright!


Thank you Rosie. One more example of Rosie at her best.


FYI Rosie - The United States is a constitution-based federal republic, with a strong democratic tradition. That means we elect people to make the tough decisions, not conduct polls.

FL-13 Saga Continues - now its getting pathetic


It's been a while since we reported anything on the FL-13 situation, but we thought that you all should see this.

Tomorrow evening, while the President delivers his State of the Union address with Rep. Vern Buchanan in attendance for the first time, Christine Jennings will also be watching from inside the House chamber. U.S. Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-CA) gave her one ticket allotment to Jennings, saying:
“I have invited Christine to attend the State of the Union because she should have a seat in Congress. Period.”

This sad affair has hit a new low.

Related News - Would Jennings be this bad?

Rep. Vern Buchanan is already earning high-praise in D.C., it's just not the kind of praise we would have expected.
Sure the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Americans for Tax Reform aren’t very pleased with Rep. Vern Buchanan’s early voting record. After all, he voted to raise the minimum wage and to repeal tax cuts - cardinal sins for those two groups.

But the Longboat Key Republican is already picking up new (and unexpected) friendship from environmental groups, liberal bloggers and labor unions.

Speaking of Americans for Tax Reform, just a few weeks into his first term Buchanan has already broken the ATR tax pledge that he signed:
January 18 -- Today, the House of Representatives voted to raise taxes nearly $8 billion. This is the first vote to raise taxes in 13 years and the first time a Republican has voted to raise taxes in 16 years. All four of the Democrats who pledged to their constituents not to raise taxes broke their pledge (100%). Of the 192 Republicans who pledged not to raise taxes, 28 members broke their pledge (14.6%).

That's right, Vern was one of those 28 Republicans (Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen also broke the pledge). Not what we would call a great start.

Hillary plays Hardball - not really!! But funny!


Hat tip Allah at YouTube


Don't expect much more from the MSM once she hits the TV circuit.

Hillary's in....but is she the new Thatcher?


Attempting to grab the attention of the American people on Saturday morning, which is unusual for this kind of announcement, Hillary Clinton has officially entered the race for 2008. So, why Saturday morning? The Hotline asked the same question:

Simple, says a senior adviser to Clinton.

Announcing today virtually guarantees that Clinton will be the Democratic Party's de-facto foil on Tuesday night, when Pres. Bush gives his State of the Union address.

Hillary chose the now favorite medium for announcing a run for the presidency - online video. Hillary promises to hold online video chats beginning this week. American Idol or Hillary - boy, that's tough.

You'll be particularly interested in the part of the video where she talks about national healthcare. Remember the last time Hillary was excited about healthcare?

Hillary as the new Thatcher?

I know, it sounds crazy. My first tip on this story was over on You Decide 2008. The original story is from today's Sunday Times of London:
HILLARY CLINTON is to be presented as America’s Margaret Thatcher as she tries to become the first woman to win the White House. As she entered the 2008 presidential race yesterday, a senior adviser said that her campaign would emphasise security, defence and personal strengths reminiscent of the Iron Lady.

“Their policies are totally different but they are both perceived as very tough,” said Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman. “She is strong on foreign policy. People have got to know you are going to keep them safe.”

If your smart enough to be reading this blog, then you probably already know why this is, perhaps, the most ridiculous statement ever made by Terry McAuliffe. And he's made quite a few.

Not even close!!

(image) (image)

On the behalf of the people of the United States: We're sorry Lady Thatcher. Terry McAuliffe doesn't know any better.

MKH brings us Da Bears (and the Fridge)


Now that it's Saturday, just sit back, relax, and enjoy a look back.


And if you get tired of watching some idiot pull out his cell phone after scoring a touchdown this weekend, just come back and watch it again.

Mel sails through - Now it's time to move on


Well, we expected, perhaps naively, that the opposition to Mel Martinez would prove more strenuous than it was. Martinez sailed through will only a hand-full dissenting in the voice vote. We will now find out if Republicans can move beyond this episode, and come together to face the challenges of '08.In his speech following the vote, Martinez talked about expanding the Republican base to include more Hispanics and African Americans. Those assembled gave their approval with a standing ovation. Read the entire address here. Will give you the high points:I want to congratulate Mike Duncan. I know for a fact that without Mike’s hard work and support in running the day-to-day operations of the RNC, it would be impossible for me to take this position as General Chairman. Mike is already a good friend, and I know that our relationship will continue to grow and be a strong one as we strive together to lead our party._______________My life and my experiences are why I share those ideals with you, and why I am so proud to be able to serve this Party. My story is like so many other American stories. A story of hope, and the promise of the American Dream. A story of trying to create a better life for the next generation, so that they might have opportunities to succeed in ways that their parents and grandparents were not able to succeed. _______________The American Dream might take different forms for different people.To the young families who are the roots of our society, it might mean owning their very first home. To the single mom who needs medicine for herself and her child, it might mean health care you own and can take with you when you switch jobs.To the small family business owner who dreams of growing his business, it might mean lower taxes and less regulation.To our seniors, including members of that Greatest Generation, it might mean knowing that they can control their own retirement.But to all of them, it means opportunity, and a limitless future. And that is what our Party is all about.__________________To be the Party of the future means that we also have to be a party that opens the door wide-open so that all Americans feel welcome. There are too many Americans who do not understand that the principles of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan speak to their hopes, their dreams, and their aspirations. I will take the message of our Party to all Americans.As a member of the Cuban-American community, it was easy for me to understand that the Republican Party, the party of Ronald Reagan, was a party for us. I want to make sure that we take that message to the broader Hispanic community, to the African-American community, and to all communities that may never have believed that Republican ideals spoke to them. So they, too, understand that if they care about education for their children, accountability in their schools, if they care about entrepreneurship, about beginning a small business and growing it into a large business, if they care about a Party that stands for less government, but more individual freedom … then we are the party for them and their American Dream._________________It would be tempting today for me to talk to you about our strategies and tactics as we plan to retake the Congress and elect a Republican president in 2008. But not today. What I am going to do over the next two years is assist our Party in a renewal of the principles that have made us great: lower taxes, limited government, individual responsibility, freedom here and abroad, and the power of faith. I am going to carry those principles to the American people, explaining why the Republican way of doing things is the best way to solve America’s problems. And if I do my job right, if we all are successful in communicating our message, if we stand for our principles, we will be rewarded with success … and th[...]

2008 Prez Primary News


Rep. Feeney Putting His Mouth Where the Money Is

Congressman Tom Feeney has decided to enter the 2008 fray early with his endorsement of Mitt Romney. The addition of Feeney to the Team Romney gives the former Mass. governor a bona fide conservative supporter/defender in Florida. Romney has made some serious financial strides in the state (see this and this), and now he starting to line-up some important political contacts.

In announcing his support for Romney, Feeney focused on fiscal matters:

"With his record of fighting for lower taxes and balanced budgets, Gov. Romney is the right kind of leader to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington,'' Feeney said in a statement.

It will be interesting to see how Feeney, known for his social and fiscal conservative credentials - handles the questions that will surely arise about Romney's past positions on the big social issues. See our post: Potential problem for Romney

McCain spending the weekend in South Florida

Naked Politics reports that Sen. John McCain is heading to Coral Gables this weekend. McCain will be trying to round-up campaign cash and support during a private meeting at the Biltmore.

McCain will follow-up the event with an appearance on Meet the Press via satellite from Miami.

It will be interesting to see who is seen emerging from the Saturday meeting. McCain is playing catch-up in the Sunshine State, following Mitt Romney's early moves in the Florida.

See also:
Peer Review FL's - Romney vs. Brownback

Pick on Hillary day at the Sentinel



Hillary's Obama Problem



Bill Garner @ WaTimes

Mel Martinez debate intensifying


On Tuesday, we posed the question, "Is the Martinez RNC chairmanship in Jeopardy?" Just two days later the debate has intensified and the rhetoric is soaring from both sides.

From the WaTimes:
Texas RNC member Denise McNamara said the attempt by Mr. Bush's supporters in the national committee to name Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida as general chairman "is like pouring gas on an already smoldering electorate," citing Mr. Martinez's role in promoting last year's "comprehensive" immigration bill in the Senate.

"Choosing an RNC chairman who supports amnesty [for illegal aliens] is tantamount to telling the conservative majority of Americans that they do not matter."
One of Mr. Martinez's supporters, Florida RNC member Paul Senft Jr., told the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper: "With some people, the issue of amnesty is a litmus test and anything short of a concentration camp is amnesty."
The vote is scheduled to take place today, and Republican leaders are bracing for rebellion:
"The question is whether the Martinez fight will be a skirmish or a full-scale rebellion," said New Jersey RNC member David Norcross, a former RNC general counsel who oversaw the 2004 Republican presidential nominating convention in New York. "I think it will be a skirmish, but I am preparing for a full-scale rebellion."
We gave our opinion here on Tuesday. In the interest of the party, during these critical times, we think it best to move beyond this by removing Martinez from consideration. We also expressed a bit of regret, as we feel a Martinez chairmanship would be good for Florida. Now the day has come and we too are bracing for the fallout.

Unfortunately, the situation is not lost on the other side. Daily Kos is relishing the fight:

The proudly bilingual Latino in me cringes at the English First attacks and the embrace of Tom Tancredo-style xenphobia. But the partisan Democrat in me applauds their efforts. Unlike their covert "Southern Strategy", which kept the Dixiecrats' racism hidden from plain view, the anti-brown people hysteria is out in the open and hard to miss.

So I hope they keep it up. I liked winning the 2006 elections. I want to win more. And mass alienation of the largest growing demographic in the country is a fantastic way to making that happen.

Let's hope his optimism is misplaced.

Education: Crist's biggest challenge is before him


With the resignation of Education Commissioner John Winn last week, Gov. Charlie Crist faces the first big test of his governorship. In what direction will the state education system go? Will Crist, as he vowed in the campaign, continue the course of accountability set by Jeb Bush and John Winn, or will he retreat from accountability and move in a different direction?As a teacher (that's the first time that I've mentioned that here), I would urge the governor to stay the course. Admittedly - and I think that former-Gov. Bush would be the first to say this - adjustments and improvements can be made to the current policies. But Crist must not submit to the whims of teachers and parents - yes, parents - and scrap testing and high standards. Right now, testing is a major burden for all involved. That is not because testing is inherently bad, but because we have failed for so long at "teaching" and "demanding" a higher level of work from our students.The St. Pete Times, reporting on Winn's address to the dropout prevention task force, mentioned the dissatisfaction with current policies:His (Winn's) fingerprints are all over high-stakes use of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test to grade schools, retain third-graders and award teacher bonuses - all policies that polls show are unpopular with most Floridians.Yes, parents are also a major - if not the major - part of the problem. Higher standards demand more from parents. Parents must take an active role in educating their children. Perhaps Stephen D. Marshall, headmaster of Christ Classical Academy in Tallahassee, put it best when he said that all parents should consider themselves homeschooling parents.It is hard work to sit down with your child and do homework every night, but it must be done. It is time consuming to institute a summer reading and summer bridge program in your home, but it must be done. Ask a bookseller in your local bookstore about the parents that rush into their store over the last couple weeks of summer to buy summer reading books, because they failed to develop the structure in their homes to get it done earlier. You may be surprised at the answers you'll get.It is not often that you'll read anything on this blog suggesting that you read Thomas Friedman of the NY Times. But if you doubt anything that I'm saying, read is latest book, The World is Flat. Friedman does an admirable job at explaining just how high the stakes are for our kids.This is the issue that we at the Sentinel are most passionate about, so look for more as the governor starts answering some of these critical questions and challenges.Finally, we want to thank Commissioner Winn for beginning to move Florida in the right direction. While there is much work to be done, Winn has made the hard decisions and taken the predictable fire from the education establishment. We urge Governor Crist to appoint an education commissioner as courageous as Commissioner Winn. More importantly, he should select one that will pickup the course set by the Bush/Winn team.[...]

2008 Update


Here's some video of the Tancredo and Obama announcements:

First, Tancredo:

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Here's the

And now, Obama:

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You'll also want to take a look at Hot Air's post on Obama's announcement:
Messiah reappears; forms presidential exploratory committee

Is the Martinez RNC chairmanship in jeoperdy?


President Bush's choice for chairman of the RNC, Sen. Mel Martinez, is coming under serious fire from party conservatives.
(Washington Times) Rebellion is brewing among conservatives on the Republican National Committee over President's Bush's attempt to "impose" Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida as "general chairman" of the party, who favors "amnesty" for illegal aliens.

The WaTimes article documents concerns of some party members that vow to fight the Martinez appointment:

"I will be voting against Senator Martinez if he is nominated for any chairmanship of the RNC," Tina Benkiser, Texas Republican Party chairman, told The Washington Times yesterday.

Bill Crocker, the elected national committeeman from Texas, says that when the RNC convenes here tomorrow, "Absolutely, I will vote against Martinez."

There is also some doubt over whether the post for which Martinez has been tapped - general chairman - is even a legitimate position under party rules:
The conservatives -- one of whom accused the Bush White House of "outsourcing" party leadership -- say the general-chairman post does not exist under RNC rules, which can be changed only at the party's presidential nominating convention.

Organized opposition to Martinez is also picking-up steam. Ads for are popping up on conservative sites like National Review Online.

The conservative blogosphere continues to sound-off. We brought you some of the early reaction back in November when the Martinez announcement was made. Florida bloggers, including this one, have been torn between those same concerns that other conservatives are voicing and the prestige a Martinez chairmanship may bring to the state.

In November, we brought to you the endorsement of our friends over at Peer Review FL. Jim Johnson over at State of Sunshine was unsure whether Bush's pick was the right move.

Oak Leaf over at is calling on the party to "Toss Martinez!!"

So what do we at the Sentinel think? The Martinez flap is a distraction that will probably cost Republicans over the next two years. Fundraising under ideal situations will be more challenging now that Republicans are in the minority in Congress. Add to that divisions in the party over a Martinez chairmanship and you have a recipe for disaster. For these reasons alone, we call on Sen. Martinez to step aside and help the eventual chairman build for 2008.

GOP Bloggers Straw Poll Results - Romney and Gingrich on top


The results of the January straw poll are in, and Mitt Romney has come out on top. GOP Bloggers has posted full results, including some interesting cross tab numbers.

Romney pulled in 27.4% of the 12,794 votes cast, followed closely by Newt Gingrich with 24%. Rudolph Giuliani finished 3rd with 20.9%. Full results can be seen by clicking here.

Perhaps more important to Floridians are the state numbers. Of the 622 votes cast by Florida voters, Gingrich took the top spot with 34.1%. Giuliani finished 2nd with 22.5%, and Romney rounds out the top 3 with 21.9%. Full Florida results are here.

On candidate acceptability, Gingrich led both the national and Florida polls.

This leaves only one last detail - and that's for Newt to throw his hat in the ring. We'll keep waiting.

Money well spent


Florida political blogs are abuzz today over bonuses paid to top campaign staffers for Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign.
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Charlie Crist is proud to call himself "cheap," sharing tales of patching his shoes rather than replacing them and comparison shopping for generic products in drugstores.

But Crist was generous in handing out nearly $600,000 in bonuses to about two dozen employees of his campaign.
That is money well spent. In a year when Republican fortunes around the country came crashing down, the Crist campaign was one of the few GOP bright spots. Campaign staffing is hard, and often thankless, work.

Reports have George LeMieux receiving the largest of these winning bonuses. LeMieux was rewarded for his work with checks of $50,000 for the September primary win, and another $150,000 for the big win in November. More importantly, he is now on the GOP map and will certainly be called on by national candidates in 2008.
"They earned it. I'm grateful to them, and I thought it was appropriate," Crist said Tuesday. He noted the bonuses were "a lot less" than what some other governors paid their campaign workers. (from the Buzz)
Mr. Governor, we agree.

Tom Tancredo forming an exploratory committee


Tom Tancredo announced on Fox and Friends this morning the creation of his 2008 presidential exploratory committee.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, said Tuesday he will form an exploratory committee for a possible presidential campaign.

After making a weekend trip to Iowa, home to the first nominating caucus in January 2008, Tancredo said voters told him other presidential candidates don't share their views.

"They believe that there is a void in this race that none of the other candidates are willing or able to fill," he said.

His website is here.

Posting pause over


We have been under a posting pause over the long MLK weekend. I spent the weekend on a Cub Scout camp-out. It was great, but now we're back to work.

Florida primary may be moving to January


We have been clear about our support for an earlier primary election in 2008.
Florida was a rare bright spot for the GOP this election year. It should be an obvious place for Republican presidential hopefuls to stake their claim on the nomination. It also makes sense for Florida to move its presidential primary to a date that will put it in play.

Florida Republicans have earned the right to help determine which candidate will head the national ticket. Gov. Crist should get on board and actively support an earlier primary.
It now looks as if Florida lawmakers are moving toward making that a reality. A bipartisan bill has been introduced that would move the Florida presidential primary from early March to lat January. This would position Florida in the same class as South Carolina in terms of primary importance.

The AP is reporting that both the Republican and Democrat national parties may fight the move:
But the national Democratic and Republican parties have consistently opposed the idea to prevent a race between the states to have the earliest primary. And some have said Florida's size makes it impossible for underdog candidates to raise enough money to compete at such an early stage.

The Democratic and Republican parties could punish Florida for moving its primary earlier than Feb. 5 by taking away half their state party's delegates to the nominating convention. The Democratic National Committee could also decide that candidates who campaigned in Florida for a primary earlier than Feb. 5 should not get the state's delegates if they win, according to DNC rules.
This would be a bad move by the national parties, particularly the Republican Party. It is clear from moves by current contenders that Florida is a significant GOP battleground state, both in terms of the grassroots and financial support. Florida Republicans have earned the right to have a greater stake in determining the party's presidential nominee.

We again call on Gov. Crist and the House and Senate leadership to get behind this movement - or better yet, get in front of it and lead.

Yet another Romney post


I know it must seem as if we've become an "all Romney, all the time" blog. This is, of course, not the case. In fact, the Sentinel has yet to endorse any candidate for '08. The number of posts dealing with the Romney candidacy is a testament to the early work he has done to gain control of the momentum in Florida. In this, Gov. Romney is doing an incredible job. So now we get to the meat of this post.

William March of the Tampa Trib is reporting the addition of two more Florida GOP operatives. He also points out that, like other early Romney recruits in Florida, these two have ties to former Gov. Jeb Bush:

Romney announced that Mandy Fletcher and Marc Reichelderfer will join his exploratory presidential campaign committee.

Fletcher has been executive director of Bush issue advocacy organization, the Foundation for Florida’s Future; and was political director of the Bush-Cheney
‘04 campaign and a field coordinator for the Bush-Brogan ‘02 gubernatorial re-elect campaign.

Reichelderfer, a veteran party operative, was Florida field director for Lamar Alexander’s presidential campaign during Alexander’s all-out effort in the Florida party’s Presidency III presidential primary straw poll.

And the Romney train keeps rolling.

See also: Potential problem for Romney - w/ Update

Potential problem for Romney - **Updated** Mitt Responds w/video


Mitt Romney used an appearance on's "Glenn and Helen Show" to respond to the YouTube piece on the 1994 debate (see below). (hat tip to reader Jason)

Hugh Hewitt credits Romney for his rapid response, and warns of things to come:

Romney's push-back at the YouTubing of his '94 debate with ted Kennedy --happening in rapid response fashion-- means an entire news cycle on a somewhat significant story has played out before even one newspaper reported it, with the anti-Romney forces (clearly worried about the big $ Monday and the deMint Tuesday) trying to put a stick in the spokes, and Romney's team finding a way to knock it down in the same cycle.

That's a preview of what it will be like all year.

Here's a clip of the Romney response:

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Good job Governor.

We've posted a few times over the last week or so (here and here and here) on the early surge that Mitt Romney has enjoyed. Most of what we have had to say has revolved around his early fundraising success. It now looks as if Romney may have to use some of that cash to combat his early record of liberal positions.

We heard the criticism before this - Mitt has recently flipped to the conservative side on some issues - but now the YouTube attacks have begun. Hot Air had this film posted a few days ago, and now it has hit the MSM with its arrival on the site. The montage video is from Mitt's 1994 Senatorial debate against Ted Kennedy.

Here it is (I apologize to my friends over at Peer Review FL):


This is certainly not an insurmountable obstacle, but it will require the expense of time and funds. With so much good news lately for Mitt, he was bound to have a story like this sooner or later. Sooner is probably better.

GOP Bloggers' 2008 GOP Straw Poll


GOP Bloggers has a Straw Poll working for the 2008 GOP Primary probables/possibles. You can participate right here.

Much Ado About Nothing


Special session. Property insurance. New direction in Iraq. Property tax cuts. Gators are national champs. Even Trump vs. Rosie. There is obviously much to talk and write about this week.

So why spend so much hot air on a non-story? I'm, of course, talking about Gov. Crist's decision to make his own appointments in his own administration.

Here's a selection of what was produced yesterday on the topic:

Crist Rejects Roster of Appointments - Orlando Sentinel
Crist rejects all of Bush's picks - Miami Herald
Crist withdraws 283 Jeb appointees - Naked Politics
Crist yanks 283 Bush appointees - The Buzz
Crist makes room for his own team - St. Pete Times
Crist to replace Public Service board members - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Crist nixes Bush appointments - Tallahassee Democrat
Crist rescinds 283 Bush appointments - Palm Beach Post

You get the idea. The overriding tenor of the reporting is of Crist departing from the Bush path. Is there a rift? Is Charlie the anti-Jeb? All silly questions, but you get the idea when reading most of the stories that these are the kind of questions being formulated in the writers' minds.

The real "story" is that Gov. Charlie Crist is doing exactly the same thing that all newly elected governors do. He's putting his own mark on his new administration. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now, can we please get back to Donald and Rosie!