(S.V. Dáte has covered Florida politics for a dozen years, and today, aside from writing this piece on the budding Jeb Bush/Charlie Crist rivalry, he will be filing occasional dispatches from the Sunshine State. Here's the first.)
Tallahassee--As expected, the Clinton campaign today began pre-spinning their anticipated win tonight in the delegate-less Florida primary and attributed their new view on this (Clinton, like the other major candidates, signed the “four-state” pledge promising to stay out of Florida) to Obama’s airing of national cable TV ads that were seen here.
There is, of course, one slight problem with this: Clinton’s top Florida people were already pre-pre-spinning the state’s importance as early as December, when it started looking like she might lose one or more of the early states.
Chris Korge, Clinton’s Florida finance chair who helped put together her Sunday fundraisers here, said this at the time: “The fact that she has that kind of support in Florida clearly is a tremendous advantage going into Feb. 5…. If she wins by double digits in Florida, it’s a huge victory.”
It's fine that the Clintons are competing hard down here, but for them to say it's merely in response to Obama's TV ads is laughable. Though if Hillary gets a big bump after tonight, it also might be really good politics.