FLORIDA

Don’t You Want Somebody To Hug?

Crist talking to Axelrod, Messina; Scott not as vulnerable as expected.

Sept. 9, 2013, 7:24 a.m.

Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (D) said that he has dis­cussed get­ting in­to the GOV race with sev­er­al of Pres­id­ent Obama’s ad­visers, in­clud­ing Dav­id Axel­rod, Jim Mess­ina and Valer­ie Jar­rett. (Palm Beach Post)

SCOTT ‘NO LONGER A LONG SHOT’. The polit­ic­al winds “have shif­ted in ways that make” Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) reelec­tion “much less of a long­shot than Tal­l­a­hassee pro­gnost­ic­at­ors once ex­pec­ted.” With no Demo­crats yet in the race, the party is hav­ing trouble rais­ing money to take him on, while Scott has raised $8.7 mil­lion this year and has a vast per­son­al wealth to draw on. 2010 nom­in­ee/former CFO Alex Sink (D) said she would de­cide “soon,” not­ing that she had already raised $2-3 mil­lion at this point in her last cam­paign. And Demo­crats are wor­ried that Crist won’t be as suc­cess­ful at fun­drais­ing “in a party that re­lies heav­ily on smal­ler dona­tions and uni­ons.”

Mean­while, the un­em­ploy­ment rate is down and Scott’s cam­paign is already form­ing a nar­rat­ive around the eco­nomy’s im­prove­ment. Sink: “The prob­lem is, that’s a re­sponse that takes more than a 30-second sound bite. … Some­body has got to come up with some clev­er graph­ics and clev­er sound bites to push back on one in­di­vidu­al tak­ing cred­it for an im­prov­ing eco­nomy when the rest of the coun­try is im­prov­ing, too.”

The RNC is already pour­ing re­sources in­to the state and the state GOP plans to put tens of mil­lions in­to a voter-tar­get­ing and mo­bil­iz­a­tion strategy mirrored after Obama’s 2012 ‘qual­ity over quant­ity’ ap­proach, us­ing smarter data ana­lyt­ics to identi­fy per­suad­able voters.” (Or­lando Sen­tinel)

SCOTT TOUR­ING STATE. Scott is kick­ing off a statewide tour to­mor­row tout­ing his new call to cut taxes by $500 mil­lion. “The ‘It’s Your Money’ tour will last from Tues­day through Fri­day” with stops in “Or­lando, Palm Beach, Fort Laud­er­dale, Jack­son­ville, Or­lando and Tampa”. (Palm Beach Post)

CRIST PRESS­ING FLESH IN KEY DEM COUNTIES. Crist is mak­ing a big push in South Flor­ida as he pre­pares for a likely GOV bid, “re­new­ing ties and meet­ing with old pals” in Broward and Palm Beach counties, which will be key to a Demo­crat­ic vic­tory next year. (Sun­shineState­News.com) “Crist on Sunday ap­peared to be like a man on the cam­paign trail, mak­ing a stop at the Ocala Hilton to speak to the Mari­on County Demo­crat­ic Party,” where he worked the room and proudly pro­claimed him­self a Demo­crat. (Ocala Star Ban­ner) Crist will be in Broward County again this week, where he’s host­ing a fun­draiser for the Amer­ic­an Can­cer So­ci­ety. “Os­tens­ibly non-polit­ic­al be­cause of the nature of the char­it­able cause, it still gives the former gov­ernor a chance to do what he does best: schmooze with people who could end up as po­ten­tial cam­paign back­ers.” (Ft. Laud­er­dale Sun-Sen­tinel)

GREER SPEAKS. In an in­ter­view from pris­on, former state GOP chair­man Jim Greer said that he fully ex­pects to be fea­tured in at­tack ads on Crist next year. Greer: “Charlie’s a cut-and-run kind of guy. Don’t go up the hill in a battle with him, be­cause you may turn around, and he’s not there with you. Charlie’s a loy­al per­son when it be­ne­fits his self-in­terest.” (Tampa Bay Times)

MEM­OIR COM­ING IN FEB­RU­ARY. Crist said Fri­day that he has fin­ished his “no-holds-barred” mem­oir, which will be out in Feb­ru­ary. (Palm Beach Post)
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