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Five Takeaways from the Week

5. Marco is in the lead.  This week, Quinnipiac released a poll that showed Rubio with his first lead over Charlie Crist in the race for the U.S. Senate seat that became open when Mel Martinez went all Sarah Palin on Florida by up and quitting one day.  Rubio has experienced a fairly clean ride up to this point, but now that he has a lead, expect the press to start doing a more thorough job looking at his record. 

4. President Obama and Crist meet again.   In February, during President Obama's first post-election trip to Florida, Governor Crist appeared on stage to endorse the Recovery Act, though in doing so, cemented the growing belief among Republicans that he wasn't a pure Republican.   There was great speculation about whether Crist would appear with the President again, finally agreeing to meet the President when AirForce One landed in Tampa.  To me, it seems as though over the last 7-10 days, Crist has gotten back to his more moderate roots, figuring to win, he needs to be who he is.  And in case you missed it, no hug this time.

3. The State of the Union.   President Obama threw down the gauntlet on Wednesday, striking a very populist and centrist tone, calling on Congress to get its act together and start working for the American people.  After working through the traditionally tough first year of any Presidency, Obama seemed to find his feet on Wednesday, returning to many of the outsider themes that propelled him to a landslide victory in 2008. 

2. Fair Districts Makes the Ballot.    A constitutional initiative that would require the legislature to follow standards in the drawing of Congressional and Legislative districts has made the ballot.  The initiative, sponsored by Fair Districts Florida, already has Tallahassee insiders and incumbents worried, since it would reduce the ability of incumbents to draw districts exactly the way they want. 

1. All Aboard.   On Thursday, President Obama and Vice President Biden traveled to Tampa to unveil a new national high speed rail initiative, one highlighted by a $1.25 billion grant to build a rail line between Tampa and Orlando.  The project, which will start in 2011, will generate thousands of new jobs and help Florida modernize its economy.  And picking Tampa for this announcement is certainly smart politics, as the winner of Hillsborough County has won the White House in every election since at least 1948. More on that here:  Welcome Back, Mr. President.

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Reader Comments (1)

I don't know which I'd rather be less, Crist or Rubio; Crist's support has been softening faster than butter in the summer sun, but 42% of respondents don't know enough about Rubio to make an informed opinion. I think when they do start finding out more about Rubio, they won't necessarily like what they see (i.e. he grew the size of the Speaker's office by more than any previous Speaker, if I recall right).

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFranco

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