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)
— Sarah Mimms
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."