It's certainly something to chew on, but really, a lot of people found it distasteful enough that she made sure to avoid him when he campaigned in South Florida (other vulnerable Democrats around the country did the same). What could she have done, shot a bullet through a copy of the health care bill in an ad, a la Joe Manchin with cap-and-trade in West Virginia? It would have been completely inauthentic, and she obviously struggled in trying not to alienate black voters, many of whom had never heard of her before this year's campaign, and didn't have much of a history with her. Sink infamously blew off both an NAACP forum and then a prominent black broadcaster in Miami just weeks before the election. To say she should have done more to distance herself from Obama sounds good in retrospect. The fact is, Sink was a centrist to conservative pol who had very little in common with some of the president's biggest pieces of legislative achievement. The fact that voters apparently were clueless enough to be influenced by Rick Scott's ads constantly comparing her with Obama was something that happened even on the County Commission levels, for god sakes! (Perhaps Bob Hackworth is really angry at the White House as well?).
Did Sink have issues with the health care bill? Well, by the summer of 2010 the polls in Florida showed that so did the majority of Floridians. But in 2009, when the debate about a public health option was prominent in the news for months, Sink infamously froze in front of a Miami Herald flipcam when quizzed about it. What was her opinion on it? It's fine and dandy after the election to say it was a loser and it saddled her down, but if she felt that way during the campaign, maybe she should have said something more definitively. The one thing that tape showed was that she wasn't prepared to answer that question that day. Did she not have an opinion, or was she trying to calculate what she thought people wanted to hear?
To say that Alex Sink wasn't the best campaigner is an understatement. She rarely brought audiences to her feet during her stump speeches. The Times' Smith says that running mate Rod Smith was under=utilized, and that's probably right. Smith showed in the 2006 Democratic primary against Jim Davis that he can turn a crowd on, as he did in a brief appearance in Ybor City before Hillsborough Democratic insiders five days before the election.
I think it's a bum rap to say that Sink should have done more to call out Rick Scott as part of the establishment. The Florida Democratic Party's Campaign For Accountability, the coordinated statewide campaign, was established to educate Democratic voters about Alex Sink and inform them that Republicans had dominated Tallahassee for 12 years. Sink said as much in the debates and on the trail. Could she have done more? Sure. But again, is it out of bounds to question the acumen of some Florida voters? Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi live in Washington. Ray Sansom, Jim Greer and others were involved in scandal, and the state GOP has dominated the lives of Floridians over the past decade. How much education do people need to know the difference? One point that we're completely in agreement with Adam Smith about is Alex Sink accepting public financing. If you'll recall, I believe it was at the last debate at USF where Sink won the praises of Rick Scott for not accepting public money. So she'll always have that.
"I faced headwinds from Washington that I liken to tsunami and was going up against a guy who had unlimited resources," Sink said. "I could have overcome either one but not both." Well, how much sympathy are we supposed to have? Rick Scott was able to handle the slings and arrows of reporters asking him constantly about his business record at Columbia/HCA and Solantic (mostly by not answering). What was Sink concerned about? Bad publicity, to be seen taking legal taxpayer money allotted for her and other candidates. So Scott would have complained about it? So what?
And though certainly meaning little overall in terms of the trajectory of the race (such as the fact that she won the Tampa Bay area), Alex Sink, looking to presumably win over every potential voter, declined to speak with Creative Loafing for a formal interview. Make of that what you will.