You'll have to pardon Florida's Democratic voters if they're not as eager about the attorney general's race as Dan Gelber is. The state senator from Miami Beach announced his candidacy for attorney general yesterday. It followed the announced candidacy of another up-and-coming Democrat, Dave Aronberg, the state senator from Greenacres. And there may yet be a third legitimate contender, Rod Smith, the former state senator who lost the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006 but whose familiarity to North Florida voters and moderate politics may make him the most electable of the three.
When it comes to statewide votes, "Democrat" and "electable" are words that rarely find themselves in the same sentence -- let alone a field of three electable Dems in a single race. Which is why Democrat voters deserve to be thrilled with their options for AG. Or at least take a slightly more sanguine outlook than Gelber, for whom the prospect of a three-way Democratic primary reminded him of his political party's "irresistible impulse for self-immolation."
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Cheer up, senator! If you want to see self-immolation, just look at the poor Republicans. In the same race, they're poised to nominate one of the state's most compulsive self-immolaters, Jeff Kottkamp, the lieutenant governor whose only job was to not cause scandal for Charlie Crist -- and who gave him nothing but. Kottkamp, you'll remember, is an all-too-frequent flyer who has used state resources to feed an insatiable addiction to Kenny Loggins. Republicans should ask Kottkamp if he'd agree to change his name to "Charlie's Coattails." That would look a lot better on a ballot.
The other Republican contenders aren't very intimidating either. So while it's certain to be an expensive, razor-thin, ego-bruising primary, the Democrat who survives is liable to have a weak opponent in the general election.
After the jump, video of Gelber's announcement, in which he fortunately eschews gasoline-dousing and match-striking for a more traditional approach.