According to two state papers, Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is set to announce Rod Smith as her running mate this Thursday at an event in West Palm Beach. Yawn. A former state senator, Smith lost the 2006 Democratic primary for governor to similarly boring Jim Davis. The move seems to be part of Sink's recent agenda of setting herself apart from the heated and controversial Republican primary by being as milquetoast as possible.
Some political watchers thought Sink might chose a Hispanic running mate, possibly from South Florida (former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz's name was thrown about) to bring both geographic and racial diversity to the ticket. It would have been a smart move considering both Republican candidates support controversial immigration legislation that some observers see as anti-Hispanic and because South Florida is the holy grail of Democratic votes in the state.
Others -- well, I -- think it would have been a grand idea to pick a promising up-and-comer in state Democratic politics. One who could benefit from the exposure and experience and one day be better situated to run for state office. Because among the major problems Florida Democrats have is that they have absolutely no bench.
Instead, Sink selected Smith, a 60-year-old conservative Democrat who lives in Alachua County. The St. Petersburg Times reports
that a source says Smith considers this "his last chance for public service," meaning he won't likely be interested in running for the governor's chair, or anything else, again.
We'd say the "conservative Democrat" would at least bring idealogical balance to the ticket, but Sink's platform gives us little idea of her politics other than "generic Democrat."
The Sink campaign will try to play up Smith's South Florida connection, though, by holding the announcement in West Palm Beach, where Smith spent part of his childhood.