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Dems will ‘shoot Obama out of a cannon’ at convention next week

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave Post on Politics a glimpse into what her party will do next week during their national convention in Charlotte.

Wasserman Schultz, in Tampa to counter the GOP’s national convention, also had a few snarky words for what she’d seen far from the opposition.

“Our convention next week is designed as being the most open, accessible, inclusive, participatory presidential nominating convention in history,” Wasserman Schultz said over a mushroom omelet at the Spain restaurant in downtown Tampa.

“We made a decision that our convention was not going to be the invitation-only, exclusive, only-the-elite-need-apply affair that this one has been,” she said.

“Ours is going to be one that, when we finish on Thursday night, will have shot President Obama out of a cannon into the fall campaign and leave with an enthusiastic, fired-up, broad base of supporters who understand that he’s been fighting for the middle class and working families and that he is someone who hasn’t done things the same old way.”

Here’s DWS’s take on the GOP’s glitzy fete thus far.

“I think that they have bent over backwards to run a fact-free convention,” she said. “Their convention has been a pretty nasty barrage of criticism that if they took a mirror and turned it around would be reflective of many of the policies that they’re criticizing that they themselves have embraced.”

Wasserman Schultz blasted GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who blamed Obama for an auto plant shutting down in Ryan’s hometown, Janesville, Wis. She said the plant was slated for closure before Obama was elected four years ago.

That was “a big jaw-dropper,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“It’s utter malarkey,” she said. “My overall sentiment so far is it’s really disappointing how cynical they obviously are and how willing they are to just say anything to get elected. We should aspire to better things in American politics,” she said.

Two RNC attendees throw peanuts at black camera woman

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 by Dara Kam

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
TAMPA – CNN confirmed Wednesday that one of its black camera operators was taunted this week by two Republican National Convention attendees, who were removed by security officials.

Atlanta-based CNN said the employee was inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Tuesday night covering the convention when the two attendees began throwing nuts and saying, “This is how we feed animals.”

The cable news network said multiple witnesses saw the exchange, and RNC security and police immediately stepped in.

In a statement, convention spokesman Kyle Downey said the two conventioneers “exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

CNN said it “worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

Lincoln look-alike gets attention at RNC

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 by Dara Kam

It’s a fashion smorgasbord at the Republican National Convention, where party faithful are bespectacled in red, white and blue sequins, flags and a glittery cornucopia of patriotic accoutrements.

But perhaps the only top hat in the crowd is being sported by Abraham Lincoln look-alike George Engelbach, a delegate from Missouri who is running for the state House of Representatives whose campaign business cards have the words “Lincoln Admirer” beneath his name.

Engelbach caused a sensation in the Tampa Bay Times Forum where he lingered in the hallway during a slow floor session this afternoon. Fellow delegates frequently stopped him to have their picture snapped with the Republican from Hillsboro, Mo., who ran for the state House two years ago and lost.

Scott: Isaac will showcase how Florida handles storms

Sunday, August 26th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Even as Tropical Storm Isaac gains strength and poses a growing threat to Florida’s Gulf Coast, Gov. Rick Scott wouldn’t say whether holding a convention in Tampa during hurricane was a bad idea, repeatedly side-stepping questions about the site selection during an emergency briefing with the media this afternoon.

“Everybody likes to come to Florida. I’m sure they’re going to have a great convention,” Scott said.

Scott tried to turn the looming disaster, expected to bring high winds and gusts into the Tampa Bay region, into a Sunshine State sales pitch.

“The convention was a big opportunity for our state to show what a great place it is to live, work and play. Now what they’ve learned, what they’re going to find out this week, is we know how to deal with hurricanes. We’re prepared. This is a state that knows how to deal with those things,” he said. “On top of that we’re the best hospitality state around. We have 87 million tourists here a year. We know how to have conventions, how to have large events and we’re going to do a great job.”

Florida officials’ job is to keep residents and visitors safe, Scott said.

“We’re going to make sure that happens and we’ll do everything we can to make sure they have a great time,” the governor said at convention emergency operations center in Tampa at noon.

Winds are emergency officials’ greatest worry for the Tampa region, Scott said.

“But around the state we’ve got rain, we’ve got wind, we’ve got storm surge and then we’ve got the risk of tornadoes,” he said.

Scott warned visitors to the area who are staying at neighboring Pinellas County beaches to stay put instead of heading into the water-surrounded downtown convention site.

“If someone’s staying close to the beach, stay close to the beach. Don’t start venturing into the Tampa side because you don’t know what’s going to happen as far as your ability to get home,” Scott cautioned, adding that he planned to be in Tampa today only.

Scott said he spoke with Mitt Romney twice yesterday and “brought him up to speed” about emergency preparations statewide and in the Tampa area.

Late yesterday, GOP officials canceled Monday’s opening day Republican National Convention events and said the convention would resume on Tuesday. They are expected to issue a revised schedule later today.

The “roll call of the states” officially nominating Romney was supposed to take place at 2 p.m. tomorrow. But the nomination is now expected to happen on Tuesday along with other events previously scheduled for Monday.

Inter-GOP schism over early FL primary heats up

Thursday, March 31st, 2011 by Dara Kam

GOP leaders in South Carolina and Iowa are pushing national Republican leaders to yank next year’s convention from the Sunshine State unless lawmakers change the presidential preference primary date.

South Carolina GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd sent a letter to members of the Republican National Committee this morning saying Florida is “thumbing its nose” at the committee’s rules, Politico http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52303.html today.

“Simply put, if Florida does not respect the process by which our primary calendar was set, the RNC should not be bound to the process by which the convention site was selected,” Floyd wrote.

Iowa
GOP Chairman Matt Strawn sent out a statement backing up Floyd.

Florida’s 2012 primary is currently set for Jan. 31, a violation of both parties’ rules requiring the primary to be held no earlier than in March.

Florida GOP leaders aren’t backing down. They say they’re doing what they can to ensure that Florida plays an integral role in the selection of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

Get over it, Senate President Mike Haridopolos suggested in a statement. The Merritt Island Republican and U.S. Senate candidate wants the Sunshine State to be fifth in the primary lineup, after New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada.

Read Haridopolos’ and House Speaker Dean Cannon’s reactions after the jump.
(more…)

GOP memo reveals campaign strategy to stroke ‘ego-driven donors,’ play up fear card

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 by Dara Kam

Put it under the headline “Only in Florida.”

A Republican National Committee memo found in a Boca Grande hotel reveals the GOP’s strategy of using fear to intimidate voters and mocks donors, Politico reported today.

The memo – a Power Point presentation given at an RNC meeting in Florida last month – details the GOP’s plans for this year’s election cycle by luring “ego-driven” rich donors with promises of access and “tchochkes.”

“What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” it asks.

The answer: “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”

Read the Politico report here.

The revelations left Democrats licking their chops, naturally.

“If you had any doubt, any doubt whatsoever, that the Republican Party has been taken over by the fear-mongering lunatic fringe, those doubts were erased today,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. “The Republican Party, which barely 20 percent of Americans will even admit they belong to anymore, seems hell bent on damaging their battered brand even further by engaging in the most despicable kind of imagery, tactics and rhetoric imaginable. This type of politics at all cost approach to our public discourse is what the American people are sick and tired of – and if anyone thinks this wasn’t approved of or signed off on at the highest levels they are kidding themselves. Republicans across the country have cheered on crowds where these very images appeared, they’ve encouraged and perpetuated scandalous lies about the President and his plans. And, from calling for secession to condoning violence against government officials they have sunk to new and unbelievable lows.”

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