Mitch Perry Report 2.12.13 - State of the Union edition

Obama speaks, Jim Greer pleads guilty and more …

We'll get to the big night in Washington in a moment, but first, a word on the much hyped Jim Greer trial that we highlighted yesterday in this space.

Around three hours after that post went up, the former Republican Party Chair was giving up, pleading guilty and ending the possibility of days if not weeks of sordid headlines involving Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio, Mike Haridopolos, and quite possibly, prostitutes in the Bahamas.

Now the 50-year-old Greer is looking at jail time, years possibly, when he's sentenced in six weeks.

On to the State of the Union (SOTU). One of the highlights of the evening are the "real people," guests invited by the White House or other Congressional leaders who sit inside the House chamber. Tampa-area Congresswoman Kathy Castor has been pushing hard in 2013 for comprehensive immigration reform, and yesterday she introduced the young man who will be her personal guest tonight.

Unlike most SOTU speeches, there's actually some anticipation for the official rebuttal speech after Mr. Obama finishes. That's to be delivered tonight by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, still basking in the spotlight from from the cover of Time magazine this week being hailed as the savior of the GOP.

Although Rubio was once dubbed by the New York Times magazine as the country's first Tea Party Senator, he won't be representing that group of Republicans tonight. Instead it's Kentucky's Rand Paul who will give the official Tea Party response. Paul insists he's not competing against Rubio and doesn't mean to demonstrate that there's a fissure in GOP ranks.

The big news locally in electoral politics took place in St. Petersburg, where Rick Kriseman officially declared his goal to downsize Bill Foster out of a job this November.

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