Good Friday morning.
President Joe Biden won’t be coming to Florida after all.
The Biden administration announced that the President has tested positive for COVID-19, which means he will not be able to make the trek to Central Florida on Monday.
Biden had been scheduled to visit Orlando to speak at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and Tampa for a Democratic National Committee event, so a makeup trip — if there is one — will feature an entirely different agenda.
As President, Biden has only been to Florida once. That visit came shortly after the Champlain Towers collapse in Surfside.
This is the second presidential visit to Florida that has been canceled during the pandemic era. The first came in October 2020, when Donald Trump skipped out on a Florida trip after he tested positive.
The first and only debate ahead of the Democratic Primary for Governor was last night.
But really, who cares?
Every election season, campaigns and consultants claim debates are difference-makers. In reality, they’re mostly sideshows. If they’ve ever produced any breakthrough moments for a Governor campaign, it hasn’t been in the past decade.
The most memorable gubernatorial debate moments of the past two election cycles had nothing to do with the issues — and certainly didn’t impact the results.
What was the most memorable moment of the 2014 debate between then-Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist? Probably when Scott threw a fit over Crist having a personal fan under the lectern.
Did that childish display affect the election? Crist would probably be termed out as Governor this year if it had.
What about 2018. By most accounts, Andrew Gillum won his debate against Ron DeSantis, but if anyone tries to remember why — their only recollection will be some variation of “a hit dog will holler.”
Well, here we are in 2022, and Nikki Fried’s campaign and consultant Kevin Cate are hyping up the Primary debate as if it will shift the race’s momentum. The same goes for the upcoming Sunshine Summit, where Republican congressional candidates think they’ll be able to springboard into the lead with a clever quip or two.
Maybe a few minds will change, but fewer than if their campaigns took the energy they put into debate prep and went door-knocking.
White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu will travel to Orlando today to highlight Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.
The spending package, which passed last year, includes funding for roads, bridges, broadband expansion, and other infrastructure improvements across the country.
Landrieu is expected to speak during a 10:45 a.m. appearance at Orlando International Airport, where he will be joined by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Sen. Vic Torres, unionized airport workers, and Progress Florida to discuss the law’s positive impact on Florida families, mainly how the law will modernize and improve airports and rail infrastructure.
The law includes about $1.2 billion for Florida airports, including $44 million for MCO.
Other Florida items funded by the law include Everglades restoration and the renourishment of Port Tampa Bay. The legislation also established the Affordable Connectivity Program — which provides eligible families $30/month off their internet bills — and much more.
Ballard Partners rocketed into the top tier of Washington lobby firms when Trump was President, and it’s still growing 18 months into the Biden administration.
The firm was No. 17 on POLITICO Influence’s list of top-earning firms in the second quarter, based on Lobbying Disclosure Act filings for April through June.
Ballard Partners earned $4.9 million during the three-month reporting period, outpacing their first quarter revenues by $500,000 and revenues from Q2 2021 by $400,000.
Ballard Partners is one of the top firms in Florida as well. It recently earned the No. 1 spot in the Q1 rankings for state-level lobbying. Florida Politics estimated the firm earned $6 million for the quarter — about $1 million more than it pulled in during the final three months of 2021.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
Gov. DeSantis to headline RNC gathering in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/e4Jc8tra4a
— Alex Leary (@learyreports) July 21, 2022
—@BillKristol: The decline and fall of Marco Rubio is a sad spectacle. Maybe it’s time for Florida voters to say NO to Marco, who’s become a “stupid waste of time.”
—@DaveTrotter: It’s interesting. @‘s campaign has gone from Biden-suing anti-masker to being a little more serious. Her messaging has been much more professional lately. But is it too late?
—@Scott_Maxwell: The debate is underscoring Nikki Fried’s biggest problem: She’s right about Crist’s checkered and flip-flopping record on issues like abortion. But many of Florida’s strongest pro-choice voices know all that, have looked at both candidates — and have still decided to back Crist.
—@Sam_RamirezQ: Everyone knew @NikkiFried needed a game-changing debate … this definitely isn’t it. She can’t land a glove.
@CharlieCrist cites Fried’s remark and says “I just noted that my opponent said she’s been pro-life her whole life. Sometimes that happens, Nikki. And I know
that’s not the case. And I hope you know that’s not the case for me.”
— Gary Fineout (@fineout) July 21, 2022
—@MarcACaputo: Pen & fan drama at the FL Dem Primary gov pre-taped debate … Crist’s Sharpie marker pen was taken from him when Fried’s camp argued it was a “prop” (resembles his veto he used as gov) & his podium fan was so noisy they needed a special mic cover
—@SShawFL: I’m unsure why you go out of your way to attack trial lawyers in a Democratic Primary … twice.
—@AGGancarski: Are we to the “would you rather be stuck on a desert island w Biden or AOC” part of the Dem debate yet?
—@Mdixon55: I seriously have no idea how any of you live tweet debates. I’ve covered a bunch now and never been able to do it. All I can do to make sure my notes are solid for the story
—@Mdixon55: If a thing happens and doesn’t have a Twitter Spaces afterward, did it make a sound?
—@LeftyLockdowns: The New York Times is having its columnists openly admit to being wrong about something. So far, not one acknowledging being wrong about the most important subject of all: lockdowns, school shutdowns, masks or vaccine mandates.
—@MarcACaputo: BTW, one of Florida’s top Republican political consultants, @, is quite the lepidopterist Unfortunately, his Twitter feed doesn’t have enough butterfly content
Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Renzo Downey, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.