The Washington Times - January 26, 2008, 01:00PM
Florida

\ Counting down the final days til the all-important primary.\

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\ From conversations we’ve had with old pals and former colleagues, it seems the political uncertainty here is stronger than ever. We sense this election is wildly up in the air, even as many folks have already participated in early voting.\

\ Some comments: One longtime Republican says she held her nose and cast a vote for John McCain. It wasn’t like he is her ideal candidate, just the lesser of several evils and the guy she thought would do the least damage.\

\ Another galpal, a Democrat, says she crossed off Hillary, bypassed Obama — I like him very much but I don’t agree with a thing he’s for, she said — so she cast a vote for John Edwards, “the one person who doesn’t have any chance of winning.” \

\ Her husband believes Rudy truly scotched his fate in Florida by not competing elsewhere. He says plenty of people aren’t informed voters; they pick a candidate based on who has the ability to possibly win. Thus, sensing Rudy’s momentum here is fading and he’s no longer a sure thing in other places, they pick someone else when Rudy previously was their man.\

\ Not exactly overwhelming endorsements for any of these folks, but then Florida, with its wild demographic, geographic and political diversity, is many things to many people. Southern in Tallahassee, Republican in Southwest Florida, predictably Democrat in Broward with Dade, once a GOP stronghold with its large Cuban population, now also up for grabs in this election cycle. How they’ll vote is anyone’s guess and we aren’t hedging our bets on the polls. Not after New Hampshire.\

\ The only thing folks seem to agree about here is runaway growth must be tamed.\ What, no more strip shopping centers? How will they live?\

\ Seriously, a very cloudy political forecast — even if the weather thus far is fab.\

\ In other news — the condo glut is fierce. If you want a Florida getaway, there are insane deals to be had in this sagging real estate market. \

\ We must head out to buy sunscreen. Only a few scant weeks til Spring Training. There’s something that is a certainty.\

\ — Andrea Billups, The Washington Times \