"The Sunday Political Brunch" -- May 27, 2012

Iwo Jima Flad.JPG

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – I am on the road this weekend, in the critical State of Florida. Whoever wins the Sunshine State is likely to be our next President. Here are some political observations.

“Florida Poll” – The polls are all over the place this week. President Obama and Governor Romney have split six recent polls in Florida. The Real Clear Politics Composite Poll has Romney with a slight edge, 45.3 to 44.8 percent, over Obama. That’s 0.5 percent! Just to show you how widely the polls vary, an NBC/Marist College Poll this week has Obama up by four points; but a Quinnipiac Poll has Romney up by six points. It’s a coin toss in Florida.

“None of the Above!” – The latest GOP Vice Presidential speculation has three names topping the list: Condoleezza Rice, Donald Trump and Herman Cain. Who will be picked? None of the above! Why? Rice would bring some women into the tent, but few if any blacks, more than 92 percent of whom historically vote Democratic. Herman Cain? He brings no one to the tent, especially among women. He’s about as popular with female voters as John Edwards and, like Rice, can’t bring any significant African American support to the GOP tent. Trump? He’s an insincere huckster. If he was serious about VP, he would have just run for President. Are we really going to elect two rich white guys on the same ticket? It’s doubtful.

“Star Struck?” – I have written often over the years about the dangers of mixing Hollywood and politics, or the worlds of sports and politics. It usually ends in disaster. Such was the case this past week in my home state, Rhode Island, where former major league baseball star Curt Schilling and his video gaming company, “38 Studios,” went belly-up on a $75 million dollar loan guarantee from the State of Rhode Island. I hate to say “I told you so,” but two years ago I predicted this would end in disaster, and it has. As I said then and have repeated often this week, if his name had been Bob Smith from Warwick and if he had the same video game concept, no one would have given Schilling a dime. Politicians who keep falling for the celebrity culture – and the people who support them - need a reality check. Taxpayers, once again, are left holding the bag. Tragic!

“Thank a Veteran” – It’s Memorial Day weekend. I hope you get to a parade, a cemetery service, or some other event to honor those who served and, especially, those who died for our country. One of my family members was almost in the most famous of all World War II photos. My late uncle, Barney Dougherty, was a Marine who fought in the famed Battle of Iwo Jima. Six U.S. troops were credited with planting the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi, an act which was captured in the iconic photograph (see above). About a dozen troops actually were carrying the flag; but, as they neared the top of the hill, several of them let go, while the six remaining troops planted the flag. My Uncle Barney was one of those Marines who let go and was left out of the photo and subsequent monument. Now Barney was a talkative Irishman, so I wondered about his tale. But over the years I met two other Marines who served at Iwo Jima with him and who told me his story was true.

Thanks to all our troops! Please have a safe Memorial Day Weekend and leave your comments at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

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