Sunday, February 20, 2011


(Howdy folks, Zandar here.  Thanks to Steve for letting me play in his sandbox again.)

With a substantial 29 electoral votes heading into the 2012 contest, Florida Republicans have decided they want to be the state that determines the Presidential primaries from here on out, whether the RNC likes it or not.

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon said the risk of being penalized at the 2012 convention was “outweighed in my mind by the advantage of having Florida earlier in the cycle.”

“Florida is one of the most, if not the most demographically, economically and geographically diverse states in the country and is soon to be the third most populous state,” Cannon argued. “We’re not playing chicken with anyone. I just think it is more important that Florida be early in that dialogue than that we focus on the number of delegates at the party convention.” 

Game of chicken or not, the RNC appears just as determined to hold the line on the primary calendar as Florida Republicans are to change it. 

“The RNC reached an agreement with the DNC that is the best way forward for our country’s presidential nomination process,” said RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. “We will continue to provide assistance to individual states to ensure they are in line with the rules.” 

Florida’s Republican legislative leaders aren’t the only ones foursquare behind the early primary. Their
claim is supported by one of the GOP’s top rising stars, Sen. Marco Rubio — an oft-mentioned prospect for the vice presidential nomination in 2012. 

“I’m OK with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina — those are established states and I don’t think Florida desires to get ahead of any of them,” Rubio said in an interview this week with the Palm Beach Post. “But after that, why should Florida be behind anyone else?”

In 2008, Florida decided the primaries for the GOP and they know it. At the same time, Hillary's win there is what kept her in the race far past Super Tuesday. This time Florida wants to make it clear that they are the biggest prize in the early primary voting states.

Or else. Look for the RNC to cave and the DNC to follow.

Best line from the article:

“We’re not trying to be first. I like the idea of Iowa and New Hampshire,” one prominent Florida Republican said. “This is not a hostage situation. This is a negotiation.”

I got a good laugh out of that one.

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