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Allison Tant Needs New Friends -- and New Candidates

June 23, 2014 - 6:00pm
Sometimes in politics, your friends hurt you more than your enemies, which seems to be the case with Allison Tant after the new blog Not Getting Squeezed made its debut on her behalf.

Once a reader gets past Not Getting Squeezed being written at a third-grade level, the blog hurts Tant more than it helps her by its mangling of facts and refusal to recognize some of the simple basics of Florida politics.

Allison Tant has, as chair of the party, done remarkable things in a short time. The chairwoman has captured the Obama energy, the writer of the blog wrote on Monday. She has also raised money from Obama donors. She was a top Obama fundraiser. Charlie Crist was also a top Obama fundraiser. He was partly responsible for Obama winning in '08 and '12. New blood has come in. The ways of the past are done. New ideas and fresh thinking. Allison Tant has done this.

Actually, Crist was angling to be John McCains running mate back in 2008 when he was still a Republican -- and a conservative one at that. More to the point, Tants new ideas and fresh thinking really arent helping the Florida Democrats despite what Not Getting Squeezed says.

Our state House and state Senate campaigns are strong, the blog claims, before going on to look at other races. The party has recruited candidates for all Cabinet races and most Senate races. The party has more ground games than any prior election.

Democrats did actually have a last-minute flurry of candidates to file for House races but, even so, are likely going to lose seats in November. House members who picked off Republicans in 2012 wont have Obamas and Bill Nelsons coattails to ride in on this time around.

The Senate looks even worse for Democrats. Even in the best-case scenario -- which simply isnt going to happen -- Democrats will move from holding 14 Senate seats to 17, leaving the GOP in control of the chamber. Mathematically, it's impossible for Democrats to control the Senate this year.

As for Cabinet races, Not Getting Squeezed is totally off base. The Democrats didnt recruit the likes of Thad Hamilton or William Rankin in the race. Both candidates stumbled badly when they ran for office before, and neither has raised much cash. There are plenty of questions about Rankins past and current campaign, none of which will help Democrats in the fall.

Loranne Ausley and Scott Maddox may have been too Tallahassee for most of the rest of Florida, but they were at least credible candidates back in 2010, even if they got run over by Jeff Atwater and Adam Putnam.

The same cant be said of Hamilton or Rankin.

Not Getting Squeezed had an inauspicious debut by botching basic facts, murdering the English language and trying to puff up Tants rather poor record as party boss. Even if Crist beats Rick Scott,Florida Democrats will need to have a long, hard look at Tant after November. Florida Democrats simply dont have much going on this year outside of Crist, despite Not Getting Squeezed singing Tants praises.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

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