Democrats in Florida, the third largest state in the country, and the hands-down largest state that’s a true battleground in presidential politics, are in a blue funk.
As Nancy Smith at Sunshine State News observed, the Florida Democratic Party is having a real problem filling seats at the annual $250 a plate Leadership Blue Gala scheduled for June 13 at the Diplomat in Hollywood.
Thinking it may be the B-list pair of speakers the organizers chose — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia — organizers thought they could sweeten the deal by adding U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
(Only a Democrat could think Elijah Cummings could be a crowd pleaser, but a guy who spends his time carrrying water for the Obama White House covering up for the IRS and Benghazi, among other things, must be a fan favorite in certain circles.)
They also threw in, to great fanfare, the chance to spend the evening with Florida Congresswoman and National Democratic Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
.@DWStweets is bringing one lucky Democrat to the @FlaDems‘ biggest event of the year. http://t.co/kE8Mlh9NNS pic.twitter.com/1xh3bHZxEh
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) May 29, 2015
But if some of the reply tweets are any indication, this offer didn’t produce the desired effect.
@TheDemocrats @DWStweets @FlaDems Second prize: TWO events with Debbie Wasserman Schultz… — richard mcenroe (@richard_mcenroe) May 30, 2015
@TheDemocrats @DWStweets @FlaDems They’ll be lucky to see 5 people if Debbie Blabber-Mouth Shultz is speaking! I’d rather have a root canal!
— Kid Kebmod the Cool (@sluggoD54) May 29, 2015
@TheDemocrats @DWStweets @FlaDems Can I just stick a red hot poker in my good eye instead? — Bernie Gilbert (@Bernie_Gilbert) May 29, 2015
@TheDemocrats @DWStweets @FlaDems What a tease. I can’t wait to curl up with DWS & listen to her weave tales about the tangles of politics
— Farbrook (@dutchindian) May 29, 201
Deb has a great record of electing Republicans. #Incompetence @TheDemocrats @DWStweets @FlaDems
— Hopeless Change (@HopelessChangeO) May 29, 2015
@TheDemocrats @FlaDems The “winner” must endure dinner w/ @DWStweets. The runner up has 2 stay for dessert. 3rd pl has 2 stay the night.
— Ben Crystal (@Bennettruth) May 29, 2015
Then again, maybe the lackluster response is because Florida Democrats have so very little to celebrate. As Smith observed:
If you don’t count Sen. Bill Nelson’s victory three years ago, Florida Democrats have a winning stable of what? Two? U.S. Reps. Gwen Graham and Patrick Murphy are as high as I can count. Better maybe to celebrate because 2014 is good and over.
Then again, things won’t be changing any time soon. After running a former Republican as a Democrat against Rick Scott in 2014 and losing, the party’s shut out of the governor’s mansion for the next three years.
And with both the state House and Senate in solidly Republican hands, the Democrats’ minority status is pretty much a fact of political life for the foreseeable future.
But the Florida fundraising problems could be much bigger — extending to a national party that’s pinned its presidential hopes on a scandal ridden former first lady whose warts are starting to show, even to the faithful.
Even a big name like presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton couldn’t muster up enough high-powered women for her $2,700-per-person, “just for women” meeting Monday, according to the New York Post.
In the 11th hour she had to open it up to men.
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