What Torpedoed Andrew Gillum? The FDP and His Lieutenant Governor
You must win before you can govern.
Easier said than done, especially, it seems, for progressives.
Andrew Gillum, who exploded onto the national political scene with a meteoric victory in the 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary, was the immediate favorite to win it all on Aug. 28.
He had a clear, consistent message, an overwhelmingly favorable state press, a charismatic personality, serious momentum, and faced U. S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, easily the weaker of the two Republicans who fought for the nomination. I don’t believe anyone would have come within a parsec of beating Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, who was being groomed as Florida’s chief executive for at least eight years.
The stars aligned, but only briefly.
Gillum’s role as favorite evaporated within the first week of the general election campaign and the blame falls squarely on the candidate — not ballot-counting snafus, not an FBI investigation, not racial innuendo employed by the opposition.
The ex-mayor of Tallahassee made two fatal decisions: choosing fifth-place primary finisher Chris King, a philosophical clone, as his running mate; and allowing the incompetent, impotent Florida Democratic Party to co-opt his campaign apparatus.
Gillum’s primary win was nothing short of spectacular. He embarked on