Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I didn't get to watch but the last half of Tuesday night's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate's debate that aired on the state's NBC affilates. For the most part, it was pretty cordial with all three candidates taking much the same positions on many of the major issues. Former USF President and Education Commissioner Betty Castor continued to take the high road, with Congressman Peter Deutsch seeking to highlight his experience within the Beltway. Playing the attack dog much of the evening was Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas...not so much attacking his opponents per se, but in the context of his look and attitude during the debate. Penelas, who in recent polls has been in third, sought to focus on where his positions were different from the others, a smart move less than a month away from the primary.

It seems rather strange that the heavy discourse between Penelas and Deutsch has virtually become nil now that Castor has taken the lead in most polls. The two men were going at it hot and heavy at the beginning of this campaign, but now that Betty is up front Deutsch's attention has turned toward alleged ties between her campaign and EMILY's List. Castor's campaign manager previously worked with the organization that helps Democratic women that support their positions get elected to office, and Betty has been endorsed by them. GET OVER IT, PETER!

The Republicans get their chance next Tuesday in Daytona Beach. It should be more entertaining, with Mel Martinez, Bill McCollum, Johnnie Byrd, and Doug Gallagher. Byrd should be the wild card, with his numbers dropping like a rock and needing to make a big move quickly he may say something that'll be seen to be very bright or very stupid...or both.


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