Florida Senate race continues to be most watched in the nation

Meanwhile, the  Crist/Marco Rubio got more national play this weekend with the publication of a cover story in the New York Times Magazine by Mark Leibovich focusing on the race.

For regular readers of his blog and other local media, there’s very little new here, which is not Leibovich’s fault.  Though the local and state political press have focused extensively on this race (which won’t come to its apex for 8 more months), much of the country has probably only been focused on it if they read National Review or other conservative publications, since it has been considered by some for awhile of being a question of tea party vs. moderates, etc.

I’d say the best things I enjoyed in the piece are the quotes from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.  He says of Rubio,”He is our Barack Obama but with substance,” and says of the infamous photo of Crist and Obama embracing in Fort Myers last February, “I nearly lost my lunch.”

Leibovich also spends a few paragraphs on Bob Smith, the former GOP U.S. Senator from New Hampshire who is also a candidate for the Senate seat, though he’s received virtually zero  media coverage since he declared last year (including this piece I contributed to our blog earlier this year).  Whenever debates do commence this year , I think it would be  interesting if Smith were included (and Charlie Crist would probably love that.

We were unsuccessful in getting to speak with Democratic Senate hopeful  Kendrick Meek last week for our upcoming story on a new attempt to alter the 2002 Class Size Amendment law.

However, the Miami Congressman did speak about the issue yesterday on his appearance on Bay News 9's Political Connections, saying that the Legislature does have the power to achieve flexibility in the law without having to put another Constitutional Amendment on the ballot.

Meek was giving interviews last week to some local members of the media, to essentially remind them and the public that he is also running for the Senate this year.

On both Bay News 9 and in yesterday’s Tampa Tribune, Meek tried to show some independence from President Obama, specifically on the issue of federal spending, which all polls show in the past few months has become on one of the top concerns of the American public.

I’ve always been an individual to talk about the deficit, “ he said. “I talked about it during the Bush administration and I’ve talked about it during the Obama administration.”

And Meek told hosts Al Reuschel and Adam Smith on Political Connections about his working with Nebraska Democratic Senator Ben Nelson calling for war bonds.

Trying to press him on his independence from party dogma, the Trib’s William March asked Meek about President Obama’s failed campaign promise to have C-SPAN cameras rolling during negotiations of the health care bill, saying, “It’s up to the president; his interpretation of what he said during the campaign is for him to answer.”

In an interview with the Lakeland Ledger over the weekend, Meek took a shot at Governor Crist, saying,"He's very vague. I believe he's more politician than leader.""If any Floridian was to ask the governor, 'How do you feel about health care?' the governor's response would be, 'How do YOU feel about health care?' " Meek said.

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