Politics

Let's See if Alex Sink Can Take a Political Punch

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: January 21, 2014 3:55 AM
Alex Sink

Alex Sink

Alex Sink has learned a lesson from old rival Rick Scott as she runs for an open congressional seat but Republicans want to see how she does under fire.

It’s easy to forget that Sink does not have much of an electoral background. While she might have been the only Florida Democrat besides Bill Nelson to win a statewide election in recent years, Sink has only won one election: she beat Tom Lee to become state CFO in 2006, but that’s the extent of her electoral triumphs. Sink faced only Brian Moore back in 2010, a Civil War re-enactor who was the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate in 2008. Despite facing only Moore, Sink took 77 percent in the Democratic primary while the former Socialist still got the rest.

Nor did things get better in the general election. Scott isn’t exactly the most natural of politicians -- but he still looked good compared to Sink. Sink made the mistake of checking out a smart phone during her debate with Scott and then tried to deny it. Despite his many flaws, Scott managed to beat Sink in the general election and few Democrats were calling for her to try for a rematch in 2014.

One of the ways Scott deflected attacks against his record in the business world, including questions about being involved with Medicad fraud, was by running television commercials featuring his mother, Esther Scott, praising her son. The commericals worked and Sink has clearly taken notes on how Scott made himself look more human at her expense. She’s now running commercials with her father singing her praises.

David Jolly and his Republican allies are throwing everything but the kitchen sink (no pun intended) at the Democrat as they look to hold on to the congressional seat Bill Young kept in the GOP column for more than 40 years. They’re hitting Sink on Obamacare, moving into the district just for the race, her record in Tallahassee and now wasting taxpayer dollars on travel when she was state CFO.

This is is a close race, to be sure, with a St. Pete poll showing Jolly ahead by 4 percent, even as national pundits think Sink has the momentum to win the race. But Sink has often failed to show the ability to take a punch politically. She tightens up when facing tough questions and can blow big moments like the debate with Scott and its aftermath. Sink’s glass jaw has nothing to do with the political glass ceiling since there are plenty of female politicians, like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nikki Haley, Jan Brewer and plenty of others who have no problems landing or taking political attacks.

Sink’s failure to brush off attacks and adversity does show her lack of electoral and campaign experience. Even with her success against Lee and being the widow of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride, Sink’s background is much more tied into the private sector than in politics. It showed in 2010 against Scott, another electoral novice certainly, but also one who gained political experience fighting against Obamacare in 2009.

This should be a close election, but Republicans are hoping they can trip Sink up with a barrage of attacks. The blows directed at her started well before the Republican primary. This race will be greatly shaped by how Sink deals with attacks against her, and Jolly and the GOP will do their best to test her ability to take a punch.



Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson writes exclusively for Sunshine State News
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Comments (4)

James the Chauffeur
11:18AM JAN 21ST 2014
Yea! Rick Scott paraded his poor old mother around and all he talked about was those donuts shops the whole campaign.

He somehow had a huge memory loss on his days as a Dallas Texas partner with Johnson & Swanson, one of the cities bigest law firms. He also forgot to mention one of his major clients was Tom Hicks of HM Capital with who he partnered along with George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers. And all the big money he and Hicks give "Dubya" in both "00 & 04." Rick Scott has the early stages of "old timers!"

A lot of those hospitals Rick Scott and Rainwater owned were in South Florida. He also forgot to mention where he got his Medicare fraud
training for HCA/ Columbia. "IMC" International Meidical Centers one Miguel Recarey, Jr. funded by Tampa mob boss Santos Trafficante, Jr. with the help of Jeb Bush pulled of the first largest ever Medicare fraud in the USA with Jeb's direct line to Washington DC when his dad was VP. Frauds totally as much as $1 Bilion Bucks! With a little help from his Bush friends he disappeared to Spain running from his indictments. Then along come Rick Scott and his team finished off the Medicare schemes and like Jeb and the other moved in to the politics.

What few real Repubs there is in Florida should ask themselves why they can't have a Republican primary and see who the majority of Republicans support for Governor before having to go up against CharLIE Crist. They won't so it doesn't matter. The criminals who run FloriDUH will give us the governor of their choice!
Michael
6:39AM JAN 21ST 2014
Sigh, once again SSN writers put ideology before facts and analysis. Ms. Sink did acknowledge looking at the message and terminated the advisor. It shows the blinded by ideology of too many of Florida's voters that they then choose to ignore Rick Scott's manifold lies and his lack of character. A reminder, Rick Scott received less tha 50% of the popular vote.
Witchdoctor
8:56AM JAN 21ST 2014
Witchdoctor say Alex Sink received EVEN less than 50% of the vote.

Bones don't lie.
Frank
11:05AM JAN 28TH 2014
That's ok . . . you received ZERO . . .

Pathetic pseudonym . . . .

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