FL-Sen: Connie Mack Won’t Run

Wow, yesterday’s mishugas was quite something, huh? But here it is from the horse’s mouth:

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV won’t run for U.S. Senate.

“I’ve got two small children and it’s hard enough to get to spend a lot of good quality time now. I have a wife. They are all very important to me and at the end of the day family has to be number one,” Mack told the St. Petersburg Times.

His wife, kids and parents encouraged him to run and politically it made a lot of sense, he said. But the three-term congressman also considered his position in congress, saying he said he can be a leading advocate for cutting spending and taxes and, as chairman of House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, the 43-year-old Fort Myers Republican also a top voice on Latin America and challenging Hugo Chavez.

Mack had a lot of natural advantages in this race, not least the broad recognition of his family name – his father, Connie Mack III, was a two-term Senator who in fact preceeded Dem Bill Nelson in his seat. So this leave Mike Haridopolos as the only serious candidate in the race – hah, just kidding! Haridopolos is a joke. Which means there’s now an even bigger opening on the GOP side for the likes of ex-Sen. George LeMieux or ex-state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner. But I think the person best situated to take advantage is actually 13th CD Rep. Vern Buchanan, who is very wealthy and probably more acceptable to the teabagging set than Mack, who was occasionally an apostate. Buchanan has some ethical & legal issues of his own, but with Mack out, the field is now wide open.

UPDATE: Wow, check out this bullshit:

On Thursday, a confidante close to Mack told POLITICO “there was nothing wrong with saying it’s expected” that he would run. “You are not wrong to print this,” continued the aide. But this reporter was clearly under the mistaken impression that meant he was going to go forward with a campaign.

“He was the front runner.  He was expected, which is what you wrote, but he’s going to announce he’s not going to run,” said the aide Friday morning.

This source intentionally tried to deceive Dave Catanese and others. Dave, and this source’s other victims, need to share this person’s name. He or she no longer deserves the protections of anonymity – this person failed to live up to their end of the bargain. If this person remains masked, then everyone else in the media ecosystem is at risk of being their next victim.

86 thoughts on “FL-Sen: Connie Mack Won’t Run”

  1. is the assignment you get when all of your 1st choices are denied.  Western hemispher subcommittee is what you choose to be on when you have Cubans in either your state or district.  

    I can buy the family stuff but that committee assignment stuff is prattle.  Connie Mack IV appears to be on the slowtrack in the house to backbenchville.  But hey its a living.  

  2. I don’t think LeMiuex or Haridopoulous will catch fire during the primaries – they’ll garner about 25% combined. Hasner would love to be the next Marco Rubio, except the Tea Party support doesn’t seem to be there. If Buchanan runs, I agree, he garners the ’06 Katharine Harris vote and easily wins the primary. He’s less crazy than Harris, though, so he’ll only lose to Nelson by 15.

  3. …is of course Mary Bono Mack (aka, the congresswoman from California’s 45th district). He was divorced from his wife in 2006, shortly thereafter marrying Bono. What salacious details might have emerged if he ran against Nelson?

  4. Actually the most famous Connie Mack of all is his great grandfather – the baseball Hall of Famer who managed the Athletics for an incredible 50 years, winning 9 pennants and 5 World Series along the way.  I suspect that at least Mack III got a lot of early votes just because of the name.

  5. to count out Haridoplos. All of the controversies swirling around him seem like they might be a big deal to highly informed and highly partisan audiences, like here, but to ordinary people I don’t see them resonating all that much. Plus they are coming out WAY too early for FL Dems liking I would have to think, they will be old news by next year.

    The fact remains he is the State Senate President in a state that has proven itself to be very GOP friendly lately and he has shown he has the ability and connections to raise a huge amount of money.

  6. Shake it all about. Mack was definitely the strongest challenger but even then Nelson was favored. He will still have a competitive race but if he is losing the Senate has already gone.

  7. Aides are in the worst position when it comes to these questions. If you say to the reporter, “no, don’t say it’s expected he’ll run,” then you tip off the reporter that he’s either leaning against a run or already decided against it.

    I have a lot of sympathy for these people, who are trying to handle media rollouts while at the same time leaking tidbits but hold back others. Here the aide would have blown the press confernence if he had done something different.

    Don’t count on the name being leaked either. These people are repeat players. Today’s anger fades as tomorrow’s potential scoop nears.

  8. Well, I’m disappointed.  I worked on Mack’s father’s first Senate campaign back when I was in college and I like the son as well.  I do think he’d have been the strongest candidate.  I’m not crazy about the Senate Majority Leader OR his damn hair.  I could have gotten excited for Mack.  Now I’ll have to sit back and see; I am totally undecided at present.

  9. I wouldn’t touch a statewide run with a ten-foot pole.  After what happened to Bill McCollum last year, I would not not jump into this race as a Republican until the foment of the Tea Party bullsh*t calms down.

  10. Do y’all not know how messed up his previous marriage was and how he “partied” quite a bit before marrying Mary Bono (who has her own history too).

    Small kids my ass.

  11. He serves in the House, and he doesn’t say he’s dropping out of the House, so the difference in ‘how much time he can spend with the wife ‘n kids,’ serving in House vs Senate, is negligible – in fact, a Senate term would mean less frequent campaigning (though state-wide), so the statement seems lacking in candor to put it mildly.  

  12. since Mary Bono Mack’s district is probably going to become a lot harder for her to win.

  13. A somewhat sexist, in my view, claim that Mary Bono-Mack might retire because her husband represents a state on the other side of the country. I never liked that argument because why should she be the target of retirement speculation, instead of her husband? And maybe I’ve been righter than I realize – maybe Connie is the one thinking about getting out of dodge. It doesn’t seem like he announced he would seek re-election today, does it?

  14. Connie Mack (the original) holds the record for most wins…and most losses by a manager. Probably because he kept having to sell players to make ends meet, so his teams would be good and then terrible, then good, then terrible. The Philadelphia Athletics finished last 17 times in his 50 years. But yeah, he won 5 titles along the way.  

  15. No one knows what is going to happen with California this year, but due to the changes in Riverside County there is the possibility that Mary Bono Mack could find herself in an unwinnable district next year. We floated the (very) long shot possibility yesterday that Bono Mack could pull a Diaz-Balart and run for her husband’s seat if he ran for Senate. There is speculation that she already lives in Fort Myers.

  16. Mary Bono Mack is more of a high-profile “celebrity politician”, especially because of who her predecessor (and former husband) in CA-45 was… And because since then, she’s become quite the rarity as one of the last non-teabagger crazies among the CA GOP House delegation.

  17. That would be pretty wild and entertaining. But you do agree that Mack hasn’t actually said he’s running again for his current seat, right? I mean, usually that kind of statement accompanies an announcement like this.

  18. ever happened before? I mean, I’m sure that people have run for office after moving, but has anyone done it while still serving in office?  

  19. And Constitutionally, she could move, run, and continue to keep her current seat. Her CA constituents might be kind of pissed though.  

  20. Maybe he’s just waiting for redistricting, but maybe he is considering retiring? But if he was hanging it up, why not announce that today?

    Also, he made no endorsement in the race (even though speculation yesterday was that he was endorsing Mike H.) which means Buchanan or someone else he’s close to probably is getting in.

  21. Disclaimer, I work professionally in the field of unemployment compensation law, but eligibility for unemployment benefits is determined by state governments largely under state law, and I’m not intimately familiar with any particular state’s unemployment compensation law.

    That said, the generic principle for unemployment compensation eligibility is that you have to be unemployed due to lack of suitable work.  It’s often also characterized as “losing your job through no fault of your own,” but that’s a bit incomplete and potentially misleading because “fault” is a subjective measure and in any case there are some narrow circumstances where you can quit your job, rather than get laid off, and still be eligible for benefits.

    All that said, if you’re a Member of Congress who loses reelection, then in most cases yeah, you’re eligible.

    Also, keep in mind there is no means-testing for unemployment, so that the wealthiest executive or law firm partner can get terminated and potentially get benefits.

  22. The fact remains he is the State Senate President in a state that has proven itself to be very GOP friendly lately

    Rick Scott only barely won last fall, and his approval rating is already dropping. And Marco Rubio got under 50%. And this happened with depressed Democratic turnout.

    Next year will be a Presidential year, and I’m sure Obama will crank out the turnout machine again. As long as Obama wins Florida again (and I think there’s quite the good chance of that happening), Nelson will win comfortably.

  23. It may publish nasty smut, but at least National Enquirer always checks its sources. I have to say it’s better journalism than Politico.

  24. to bring this up again: I think Obama’s in better shape in the state simply because of how much less he depends on the white vote than people realize. In 2004, the white/black/Hispanic/Asian/other breakdown went 77/11/8/2/2. In 2008, that changed to 71/13/14/1/1. That’s a sizable drop in the percentage of the white vote, which if anything will only continue, and since Obama only increased one percentage point from what Kerry did amongst this group, I’m not sure it will change much at all, unless he’s losing badly all over the country.

    If the racial breakdown is 68/14/16/1/1, and Obama goes 40/95/55/56/56, he’ll get 50.42 in a two-man race. That’s obviously a very small victory, but keep in mind that he’s doing a little worse amongst the big groups than he did in 2008. It could easily turn the other way, but if he’s able to get 60 percent of the Hispanic vote, he’ll probably win comfortably.

  25. Yes, Rick Scott barely won, but that’s because he’s an awful candidate, not because Florida wasn’t favorable to the GOP in 2010. Rubio was obviously hampered by the presence of Crist, who ended up taking more votes from Meek than Rubio but still drew plenty of Republican and Independent votes. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that without Crist the race would have been similar to OH or MO.

    There’s also the US House (+4 GOP), State Senate (+1), State House (+5), AG (54-41), CFO (57-39) and Ag Comm (56-38) races as evidence that 2010 was a very good year for Republicans in Florida.

    I do agree, however, that 2012 is likely to be very different because Obama’s presence on the ballot will lead to a younger and less white electorate.

  26. if you want to argue a state with a GOP governor (along with the rest of the staewide offices), a GOP senator, a large majority of GOP held house seats and huge majoritites in the state leg isn’t GOP friendly, I guess you can.

    Like MassGOP said, Scott was awful and won in a bitter, bitter primary and still won and Rubio would have cruised without Crist on the ballot, I think we can all agree he would have crushed Meek.

    Obama won Florida by a less than expected margin in 2008 in the best Dem cycle in decades, so while clearly his presence will help, I wouldn’t expect it to be a magic elixir in 2012. If Republican coalesce around a candidate like Haridopolos or Buchanan who can raise large amounts of money then this seat is definitely in play.  

  27. creating a fake e-mail address and trying to mess with a reporter with by making up some false but still believable scoops. I’d probably have to do some more research just to get some names, locations, and dates down, but if you ever see Politico with a lot of egg on its face, it could be me finally deciding to strike.  

  28. Floridians here have posted that he is dull and corrupt.

    And the reason for the state leg. majorities is because of immense gerrymandering.

  29. Also, I didn’t say this in my response to MassGOP, but aside from Alex Sink, it doesn’t look like there’s been a Democratic officer in any of those positions since 1998. It’s not exactly a surprise, then, that the Republicans managed to do so well in a very Republican year.  

  30. Intensely, so they game the system to win big. Same goes with the House seats, as GOP legislators gerrymandered those horribly. That’s why the redistricting reform initiative won last year.

    And I wouldn’t say Obama won Florida by “less than expected”, since he wasn’t even expected to win Florida until after the 09/15 market crash. And Florida is the kind of state where a moderate Republican like Charlie Crist does best, so I very much doubt a flame throwing teabagger like Haridopolos or Buchanan can really beat Bill Nelson in a Presidential year with higher turnout.

  31. still have won, but I don’t think the margin would have been that high. The partisan breakdown was 36/36/29, and if Rubio had ten percent of Democrats, 95 percent of Republicans, and 60 percent of Independents, he’d have won with about 55 percent. That’s a very solid victory, but not a Rick Santorum/Chet Edwards-style loss.  

  32. With Mack now out, I suspect it’s probably Hasner or bust for the Florida GOP here. Buchanan and West are too conservative, LeMieux is dull as dishwater and Haridopoulos is certifiably corrupt and incompetent. I happen to think the Florida GOP would be smart in encouraging Jennifer Carroll to consider this. With Rick Scott’s backing, she could win the primary and she’s charasmatic enough to give Nelson a decent run.

  33. as the GOP nominee. Just saying don’t count him out. Obviously Mack would have been an ideal candidate here.  

  34. Honestly, all kinds of good will for him just because of his namesake is putting voters in a very superficial box. Who watches baseball now? Much less invest a lot of time in its history and have a yearning for entitlement from a successful manager’s great grandson?

    Any goodwill will be inherited from his father, who was pretty popular.

  35. to moderate Democrat. I wonder if he can capitalize on undecided/unexcited Republican and center-right voters. As others have noted, Nelson can reasonably be expected to overperform Obama’s total by at least 3 percentage points.  

  36. The fact he actually won by 3 should be no surprise since the state is slightly more conservative than the country as a whole.

  37. a member of “The Family” and as we saw in 2010, The Family’s members did quite well (see McIntyre, Boozman, Jerry Moran, and Coats).

  38. it will be obama that drives turnout; not nelson(nelson is not very well liked by the dem activist base but we realize that he won’t primaried so we are forced to support him, especially against wackos like kathryn harris; mack would have been formidable, probably the strongest possible besides JEB and everyone here knows JEB will never run statewide again though at some point into the future(NOT 2012)may seek the white house)

  39. Without crunching the numbers, I’d guess that this difference resulted from McCain’s strengths with seniors.

  40. You are ignoring the fact that Marco Rubio will most likely be the VEEP pick and a huge number of South Florida Hispanics will be voting for the GOP ticket as a result.

  41. I thought Haridopolos was the establishment candidate here? When did he or Buchanan start throwing flaming teabags?

    Also, you can blame gerrymandering to a point obviously, but you still have to find the Republicans somewhere to vote in the candidates in all these districts. And I think most Republicans at this point would consider Charlie Crist a full blown Democrat since he flipped on a bunch of issues.  

  42. I would argue Obama was “expected” to win anything until after the market crash. Right before then polls had McCain leading, even if it was only due to the convention bounce.

  43. in CA and their only mutual address is DC.  If he left the house, it’d mean him moving to CA or DC permanently, or she’d have to quit as well to move to FL.  none of these options might be as preferable as their current situation.

  44. there was a swing to McCain in the woman vote in 2008 because he picked a woman as VP nominee, right?  Yes, the Cuban-Americans will vote for him somewhat more than they’ll vote for any Republican, but he won’t be a gamechanger.

    Also, I don’t think Rubio will run on a national ticket for VP or Prez until 2016.

  45. but my understanding is that most of the Hispanic growth in Florida has been from Puerto Rico and Central America. My chance is they’ll stick it out with Obama against a whackjob/Rubio ticket (pretty much every conceivable GOP ticket).

  46. It’s fun and challenging to try to guess who will be the Prez nominee, but at least there’s a basis in reality for making the guesses since we have a rough idea of who the candidates are.

    But now you’re digging into the minds of all the wannabe Prez nominees to determine they all want Rubio, and Rubio wants the nod?

    Just because it’s your wet dream, doesn’t make it so, not anymore than my college-era wet dreams of supermodels.

  47. but it’s far from definite. Regardless, it’s not clear at all what effect it would have. Is the goal to drive already-friendly Hispanic Republican turnout through the roof, or is it to try to shave a few points off of Obama’s total, or a little of both? I’m not sure I see the party doing as well as Bush did in the state in 2004 with Hispanics. Perhaps they will, if Rubio is the nominee, but it’s not like the Democrats will ignore the state completely. Besides, there’s a huge untapped reserve of black voters in the state, if the numbers I’ve seen are correct. It’s so staggering–or at least was the last time the numbers were calculated, which was in 2008–that the Democrats might not have to do much of anything besides hold their own amongst whites and register and turn out lots of black voters.  

  48. If they go with Palin then Rubio, it would logically be someone in some GOP-underrepresented-group who just got elected in 2014….

    Has anyone polled Rubio’s favorability numbers lately?

  49. Had there been more substance than sizzle to Palin, she might have provided more of a lift for the ticket.  It’s not accurate to compare her to Rubio.  And frankly, he’s got as more experience than Obama did when he started running for Prez, so I would expect that wouldn’t be a negative.

    I don’t want to get into prez discussions since that’s not what this site is about, but I would expect a very large Cuban American turnout for Rubio which would lift whoever gets the GOP senate nomination.  I would also think it will help in FL-25 for whoever replaces that fool who got elected there (who I don’t expect will survive a primary if he even runs again).  

  50. Even if the bottom hadn’t fallen out a month and a half til E-Day, McCain/Palin would have still been going downhill once Palin’s honeymoon was over as it wasn’t a convention bounce, it was a Sarah Palin female VP choice bounce.  I was probably 50 ft away from Palin during her RNC speech and their ticket deserved every uptick they got; she really was remarkable that first week and electrifying.  Didn’t take long for people to want to start asking her questions.

    Speaking of Palin, anyone else see not too long ago she wasn’t even on McCain’s shortlist initially?  It was just about to finalized and McCain decided they needed some woman to throw on the list.

  51. Marco Rubio was in the Florida House of Representative for 8 years. President Obama was in the Illinois State Senate for 8 years and was in the United States Senate for 4 years.  

  52. Also, Rubio may be less substance than sizzle as well as he’s settled in as a Freshman backbencher.  Kind of like the opposite of Rand Paul.

  53. Rubio was the leader of the State House, not just a backbencher.  And Obama only had 2 years experience when he started running for Prez, not 4.

  54. Eagerly awaiting the wilting of the Republican top tier (or what passes for it) in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.

    And why hasn’t somebody screwed Sen. Snowe yet by asking her to take a position on Gov. LePage’s crusade against labor?

  55. She was the only Republican to vote for Clinton’s 1993 budget when in the House and she opposed NAFTA and CAFTA.

  56. She has clearly shown for quite a while what a meek push-over she is.  If the GOP advocated nuclear warfare on France, she would say “no comment.”

  57. that family considerations and all that do impact on tough race.

    I think Mack’s explanation was more or less accurate and sincere.  He can either walk to reelection and spend all the time he wants with his family, or he could spend a year and a half busy as hell and end up losing.

  58. The only polling I’ve been able to find that breaks down Cuban and non-Cuban Hispanics was from FL-Sen 2006, when Bill Nelson crushed Katherine Harris.  That race had Cubans making up about 40% of FL Hispanics, and non-Cubans making up about 60%.  Now, Nelson won the Hispanic vote 58-41, but of course that’s misleading because it was a blowout win over a horrifically bad candidate.  But what stuck out is that Cubans still went for Harris by a massive 62-36.  Non-Cuban Hispanics favored Nelson 74-26.

    I’m guessing in a conversely bad Democratic year like last year, non-Cuban Hispanics probably broke Democratic only in the low 60s, a customary Democratic share against a credible Republican, and of course the Cuban vote had to be off the charts for the Republicans.  I’m sure Nelson’s 36% vs. Harris is toward the ceiling of what a Democrat can expect from Cubans.

    Obama did almost as well as Nelson, 57-42, with all Hispanics, in an election where Hispanics made up 14% of the total instead of the 11% in ’06.  I think it’s safe to conclude the non-Cuban share, which is steadily growing, was several points higher than in ’06, and that conversely Obama performed only in the 20s with Cubans.

    Florida is an anomaly, the total Hispanic vote will long be far less Democratic there than everywhere else.

  59. The GOP nominee will be one of the boring white guys, Pawlenty, Romney or Daniels. All of the more exciting candidates have prohibitive negatives. As far as a VP candidate here’s one: Marsha Blackburn. All of the positives of Palin/Bachmann without the paper trail of riddiculous comments

  60. …to McCain in Florida for a long time even as he was doing great in all the new battlegrounds like VA and NC and IN.  Only very late did Obama surge in Florida, and the polling was never any better for us than a tossup.

  61. Rubio would have 0 years as senator and would only be the former leader of the FL-House.

    Also the Florida House limits legislators to 4 two year terms, so of course someone with seniority is going to be the house leader as opposed to Illinois where Madigan has been the leader since the dark ages and someone who has served the same number of terms can be a backbencher.

    Let’s be serious, if Rubio were to be the Republican nominee in ’12 then both he and candidate Obama would both have had the same amount of experience, which is to say a moderate amount.  Serving 8 years in a state legislature is different than congress, but both are quite different than never having served in office at all or only for a couple of years.

    More importantly, Rubio is not any more likely to draw Cuban-Americans to the GOP ticket than any other generic Republican, and certainly would not draw more let alone win hispanics in Florida percentage-wise or anywhere else just because he is Cuban-American.  In fact, I highly doubt he would be the vice-presidential pick even though a lot of the mainstream media would like to believe so, because a candidate like Romney or Pawlenty will want go to lengths to avoid negative comparisons to the McCain campaign such as picking an inexperienced or obviously pandering choice as Palin was.  I think a lot of the media infatuation with Rubio has to do with not understanding the different voting patterns of Cuban-Americans and all other Hispanic-Americans and postulating that Republicans will fall over themselves to nominate a hispanic to the ticket.

  62. Someone should trap her on this. “Sen. Snowe, what do you think of Gov. LePage’s pension plan? What do you think of his decision to remove a mural from the Department of Labor building for being ‘too pro-labor’?”

    One answer gets her in hot water with her only (and most powerful) fan in the Maine Tea Party. The other answer infuriates moderate and liberal crossover voters.

  63. Perhaps they are just withholding their firepower until it’s more likely to make an impact. After all, the Missouri Republicans already ran a newspaper ad about McCaskill and the crap with the plane, so any effect it might have will be diminished if they try to do it again.  

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