cartoon by Chan Lowe, South Florida Sun Sentinel

The big, fat Florida U.S. House race (March 16, 2014)

I read some of the post-mortems about the special congressional election over in Pinellas County. Some pundits have insisted that the outcome of the race signifies nothing for November.

 

Others aver that it is a harbinger — or a bellwether, or an omen — of a mid-term landslide for national Republican Party candidates for Congress. Both parties flooded the campaign with outside money, presumably to establish bragging rights and help generate a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 


Photos: Models on the catwalk of Miami Swim Week

Let’s not forget, also, that this was supposed to be a referendum on Obamacare, and whether Democratic candidates nationwide would be blessed or cursed by association therewith. Analysts spoke of how minority neighborhoods in the area had been cleverly sliced up and distributed among other districts by a cynical Republican Legislature bent on diluting their voting strength. Others pointed to seniors who, convinced that Obamacare would encroach on their precious Medicare coverage, stormed the polls in an orgy of self-interest.

 

To this gimlet-eyed analyst, the answer isn’t nearly so complex: Alex Sink is a lousy candidate. I’m sure she’s a very nice person, and her heart and principles are in the right place, but she fails to quicken the pulse. She could have won this thing, but she lost to a self-admitted lobbyist, for crying out loud. This makes two debacles in a row for the honorable lady. And, lest we forget, we have Ms. Sink to thank for Gov. Rick Scott (well, to be fair, her and seventy million of his bucks).

 

We all have things we’re good at, and things we should avoid. Alex Sink is a fine banker, and has shown herself to be adept at the stewardship of funds, both public and private. For the sake of progressives everywhere, she should stick to her strong suit.

 

Ms. Sink has more than done her part. She has valiantly shouldered the burden, and the Democratic Party she loves should show its gratitude by giving her a break and beating the bushes to come up with viable candidates.