When Gov. Rick Scott proposed his first budget in 2011, he staged the announcement at a tea party rally in Eustis. On Thursday, the governor announced his latest budget at an event at the state Capitol -- with the tea party movement almost forgotten.
At Eustis in 2011, Scott proposed a state budget of $65.8 billion. Now, less than two years later, he is calling for a budget of $74.2 billion, an increase of almost 6 percent over last years budget. After the legislative waltz ends in May, the final budget will almost certainly be higher than the governors proposal.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced Friday that he would not seek a sixth term -- putting an open Senate seat in play in a state that has gone from blue to red in recent years. Republicans are already licking their chops.
While GOP hierarchy believed they had an excellent opportunity in 2012 to retake the U.S. Senate, they came up short. Now they have another chance as the 2014 election cycle looms. They need to pick up six seats to flip the chamber -- but it wont be easy.
Floridas congressional delegation divided along party lines last week, after President Barack Obama nominated former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of Defense -- andit looks like the president could be in for at least a modest fight to get his man confirmed.
Though Republican Hagel represented red-state Nebraska in the Senate, he has held a number of foreign policy positions -- specifically stances on Israel, the Middle East and Cuba -- clearly in contrast with the positions of many conservatives, particularly among the Florida delegation.
Even without major statewide or congressional elections scheduled in 2013, the new year promises to be anything but dull in Florida politics.
On Friday, one of the best known secrets in Washington was officially let out -- President Barack Obama is turning to U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to replace Hillary Clinton as head of the State Department. In doing so, besides turning to an experienced hand on foreign policy, Obama is rewarding one of his chief supporters.