Florida Democrats need a kingpin

ElectionsDemocratic PartyPoliticsRepublican PartyKendrick B. MeekU.S. Senate

Dear Jeff,

Shellacking doesn't quite cover it. Florida Democrats, like their counterparts in many parts of the country, got their butts kicked. You may have lost your party's senatorial nomination this summer to U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, but now the stage is set for you to win a far bigger prize.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Why settle for being a member of the U.S. Senate when you can become a kingpin in Florida instead?

That's right - a kingpin, the man behind the scenes whose influence can stretch far beyond the borders of the Sunshine State.

It's not all that far-fetched. You have the one thing that few of us mere mortals have that's essential to make it happen. I mean, being a billionaire should count for something.

Think of the advantages. Kingpins don't have to prep for debates, fawn over political hacks, worry about staying on message, or even explain themselves. They simply let their money do the heavy lifting.

You could take the Jeb Bush approach.

Set up a think-tank and bring together the greatest minds to develop new ways to, say, lure new industries and technology to Florida.

Everybody's talking jobs, jobs, jobs. It's a winning issue, and one that was central to your campaign. Push the issue hard, add a little hobnobbing with the notables, a few high-profile symposiums and white papers and some very public "support" of those politicians who wholeheartedly back your cause.

This is a grooming opportunity, and the Florida Democratic Party should be the first in line to take advantage of it. They've got "issues" and clearly need to find a winning message to attract good candidates to run for public office. If anyone doubts that, check the scorecard of recent gubernatorial elections. Dems 0, GOP 4.

Imagine a Jeff Greene Institute of Innovation churning out Democrats who can actually string nouns and verbs together into a compelling and convincing message that will actually win elections. It's not like Florida Republicans have a lock on bright ideas that will fix problems.

Give the idea some thought.

If nothing else, it would erase any lingering concerns about you being a political carpetbagger who saw an opportunity and tried to buy it.

Instead, you could be remembered as a very wealthy Floridian who made a difference.

Sincerely,

A Concerned Columnist

Senior Editorial Writer Douglas C. Lyons can be reached at dlyons@sunsentinel.com, or 954-356-4638.

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