Pulp Reader Alert The Sun-Sentinel has its latest Help Team special today: A giant front-page package on ... what to do when an airline loses your bags. This follows yesterday's hard-hitting front-pager on the ever-controversial subject of contact lens care. Diane Lade's article, titled WHERE'S YOUR LUGGAGE, and is just as exciting, life-changing, and full of relevent information as you would expect from such enticing subject matter. It's everything you've come to expect from the Sentinel and the Help Team, whose only goal is helping you, and more.
This is the strongest pair of Democrats fielded since at least 1990 (yeah I know that's not saying all that much considering Bill McBride and Buddy MacKay are the main competition). Both of these guys know the issues and will have a good chance against Republican frontrunner Charlie Crist. The Democratic debate was ten-fold better than Tuesday night's GOP affair, loaded with real issues instead of grotesque political rhetoric about who loves guns and babies more.
Not suprisingly, Smith whooped Davis's ass in terms of rhetoric. He talks better and has a familiar Florida cracker manner about him. Davis was wooden and looked strangely uncomfortable during much of the debate, laughing at odd times and mispronouncing words. He's not an exceedingly bright man. But once they began fighting, Davis held his own and more. He went after Smith as the Big Sugar candidate while Smith attacked Davis as a deadbeat Washington insider. They beat each other up pretty good, too.
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Smith, as his Swift Boat-like relationship (a point Davis raised) to Big Sugar indicates, is a slippier politician. He seemed prone to misrepresenting the facts, especially when he tried to defend his support of a bill sponsored by our own Skip Campbell that led to a telephone rate increase. And his repetitive attack on Davis's attendance record was slimy, since he hasn't missed any votes of import and the only reason the record is bad is because he's been running for governor. And it seemed overdone; Smith made the cardinal political sin of coming off as a bit mean. But it might yet be effective. Think of the attack on U.S. Senator Dee Huddleston of Kentucky that ended with famous ads with dogs hunting a suited likeness of Huddleston running frantically through a field. Those ads are credited with giving victory to one Mitch McConnell, who remains one of the slimiest politicians in America.
Tom Fiedler was on the panel. He brought up recent gun violence and asked if they thought gun laws were to blame. Ugh. Such an early-90s question. Then he asked what the candidates would do to make the colleges better. Not too bad, but he forgot that the biggest problem most families have is accessing those universities, in part because of huge increases in college tuition. But his counterpart from the Palm Beach Post, Elise Cramer, asked the most useless question: What the candidates thought of the wet foot-dry foot immigration policy. Problem with that question is that it's a damn federal policy that the governor won't have any power over anyway.
Pulp prediction: All things staying relatively the same before the Sept. 5 primary vote, I think Davis wins in a squeaker. He comes across as the more decent candidate, even if he's not a fancy talker. Smith just doesn't seem genuinue and his cozy relationship with Big Sugar is going to hurt him mortally with Democrats, I think.
COMING LATER: A RUNDOWN OF SUNDANCE'S "THE HILL."