Clin­ton touches on Florida loss

Her new book in­cludes her hopes of win­ning Florida, and go­ing to the Trump wed­ding.

Tampa Bay Times - - Front Page - BY ALEX LEARY Wash­ing­ton Bureau Chief Times po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor Adam C. Smith con­trib­uted to this week’s Buzz.

Her new book dis­cusses her op­ti­mism in the days lead­ing up to the elec­tion.

Just days be­fore the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, a Tampa fo­cus group re­vealed the dam­age in­flicted by the “un­prece­dented in­ter­ven­tion by then-FBI di­rec­tor Jim Comey,” Hil­lary Clin­ton writes in her new book.

“On Novem­ber 1 and 2, my cam­paign con­ducted fo­cus groups with in­de­pen­dent, swing vot­ers in Philadel­phia and Tampa, Florida. The un­de­cid­eds weren’t ready to jump to Trump yet, but in ret­ro­spect, the warn­ing signs were blink­ing red,” the book reads.

A Florida voter told Clin­ton’s team that, “I have con­cerns about this whole (An­thony) Weiner thing. I find it un­set­tling. I had been lean­ing to­ward Hil­lary, but now I just don’t know.”

An­other said: “I was never a fan of ei­ther one, but this email thing with Clin­ton has me con­cerned the past few days. Will they elect her and then im­peach her? Was she giv­ing away se­cret in­for­ma­tion?”

Clin­ton writes, “Those con­cerns we heard in the fo­cus groups help ex­plain why Comey’s let­ter was so dev­as­tat­ing.”

And Clin­ton writes of Florida on elec­tion night, say­ing the hope was it would be the state “that broke the Repub­li­cans’ back and put our goal of 270 elec­toral votes within reach.

“The state’s chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics, es­pe­cially its grow­ing Puerto Ri­can pop­u­la­tion around Or­lando, as well as the pre-Elec­tion Day early vote num­bers, seemed fa­vor­able to us. But when my cam­paign man­ager, Robby Mook, came into our suite with the lat­est num­bers, I could tell he was ner­vous.”

She said Marco Ru­bio fell into Trump’s trap by “sling­ing crude in­sults dur­ing the pri­maries. Of course, it hurt Ru­bio much more than Trump. As Bill likes to say, never wres­tle a pig in the mud. They have cloven hooves, which give them su­pe­rior trac­tion and they love get­ting dirty. Sadly, Trump’s strat­egy works.”

Clin­ton rem­i­nisces about hap­pier times, such as go­ing to Don­ald and Me­la­nia Trump’s wed­ding in Palm Beach.

“We weren’t friends, so I as­sumed he wanted as much star power as he could get. Bill hap­pened to be speak­ing in the area that week­end, so we de­cided to go. Why not? I thought it would be a fun, gaudy, over-the-top spec­ta­cle, and I was right. I at­tended the cer­e­mony, then met Bill for the re­cep­tion at Trump’s Mar-aLago es­tate. We had our photo taken with the bride and groom and left.”

Trump for Scott

Pres­i­dent Trump, in Fort My­ers on Thurs­day to ob­serve dis­as­ter re­lief, couldn’t re­sist a plug for his friend, Gov. Rick Scott.

“The job he’s done is in­cred­i­ble,” Trump said, later adding: “I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Se­nate.”

The com­ment, com­ing dur­ing a time of in­cred­i­ble loss for Florida and with 2.5 mil­lion peo­ple still with­out power, drew some notice.

It was the se­cond time Trump has pub­licly urged Scott to run against Demo­cratic Sen. Bill Nel­son. In June, dur­ing a sign­ing cer­e­mony for the new Cuba pol­icy, Trump said:

“Rick, are you run­ning? I don’t know. Marco, let’s go, come on. We got to get him to — I hope he runs for the Se­nate.”

Nel­son told us: “This is not time for par­ti­san politics. This is time to get out and help.”

Nel­son prefers fix­ing ACA to sin­gle-payer

Sen. Bernie San­ders on Wed­nes­day in­tro­duced his sin­gle-payer health care bill and he’s col­lected a num­ber of Demo­cratic co-spon­sors, some with 2020 pres­i­den­tial buzz.

But it’s highly un­likely San­ders will win over Nel­son, who has danced around so-called Medi­care for All.

“The long and short of it is, I’ve had enough trou­ble try­ing to save Oba­macare,” the sen­a­tor re­cently told the Tampa Bay Times. “So that’s way on down the road. Let’s get through this first.”

Nel­son has al­ready faced GOP at­tacks about the sin­gle-payer sys­tem, which has gained sup­port among the Demo­cratic base. But Nel­son sees an ad­van­tage in the GOP fail­ure to up­end the Af­ford­able Care Act.

“I don’t think their po­si­tion is go­ing to be very as­cen­dant in next year’s elec­tion. Ex­actly the op­po­site,” he said of re­peal and re­place at­tempts. “I think those of us who stood up for it, and hope­fully now can eco­nom­i­cally strengthen it so that it does work like it was in­tended. I think that is go­ing to be the pre­ferred po­si­tion go­ing into the elec­tion.”

Tak­ing care of Florida

How does a vul­ner­a­ble Demo­crat deal with Trump?

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Mur­phy is try­ing to nav­i­gate that ques­tion by stress­ing bi­par­ti­san­ship and mov­ing an agenda back home, in­clud­ing Hur­ri­cane Irma re­lief.

Wed­nes­day, the Or­lan­doarea rookie at­tended a White House meet­ing with Trump over tax re­form, stress­ing in a news re­lease it was “at the pres­i­dent’s in­vi­ta­tion” and that “this is the se­cond time that Mur­phy has met with the pres­i­dent in a small group set­ting.”

“Democ­racy dies when there is no di­a­logue,” she said. “I dis­agree with the pres­i­dent on a range of do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies, but I will also work with him in an ef­fort to de­liver re­sults for Florida.”

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