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Florida’s Last Statewide Dem Reminds America of DeSantis’ Great Win in Congress – Doesn’t Even Realize It

Nikki Fried is not a read-the-room kind of gal. On Jan. 3, Fried left office as the last Democrat elected to statewide office in Florida. Not that it was a major job — she was the state’s commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, which is more responsibility than I have in Florida but not exactly a kingmaker in the whole scheme of things. She hoped to be, mind you, given that she was one of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor. I’m not quite sure if it was one of God’s small mercies that she ended up losing to former Gov. Charlie Crist, who then got beaten by incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in much the same matter Georgia beat Texas Christian University in the NCAA college football national championship on Monday. However, the fact Fried is currently jobless, at least at the electoral level, doesn’t mean she can’t snipe at the guy whose job she coveted. As you may have heard, the 118th Congress had a bit of a snag picking who the next speaker of the House would be. Democrats seemed to think the schadenfreude was delicious — an odd reaction, considering a group of populist conservatives managed to get the oft-feckless Kevin McCarthy to outline a conservative agenda. Much of the blame was based on the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative members of the lower chamber who haven’t exactly been enamored of McCarthy or his predecessors. To Fried, these men and women shared in some of the blame — for what, it’s unclear, but they needed to be blamed. And did you know who was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus during his time in Congress, according to a Fried tweet on Monday? Hmm? Did’ja? None other than — gasp!Ron DeSantis! J’accuse, Mr. Governor! One pictures a sweaty Nikki Fried, complete with her hair in a Joe McCarthy-esque state of dishevelment, speaking before a simpatico audience: “I have here in my hand a list of nine people that were known to C-SPAN watchers as being members of the House Freedom Caucus and who nevertheless are still elected and shaping the policy of the nation!” At least McCarthy managed to get a bit of publicity from that list, as you may recall from history class. For Fried, however, the Twitter response seemed to be pretty overwhelming: “Yeah, and?” Call me crazy, but I don’t think this was the reaction she was hoping for. Floridians think this is a win — as well they should, given what the House Freedom Caucus has accomplished. Alas, this might be the last we hear of Fried, unless she wants to continue losing elections in a state that’s becoming increasingly red. According to Ballotpedia, Fried’s one statewide win was a squeaker of a victory where she managed to beat Republican Matt Caldwell by fewer than 7,000 votes out of 8 million cast in 2018, a year where the winds were at the Democrats’ back. [firefly_poll] She lost by more than 20 points in the primary to Crist, who almost lost by 20 points in the general election to DeSantis. By the transitive property, one can safely guess that she, somehow, would have managed to do worse than Charlie boy did. And judging by her lack of Twitter game, I’d argue Fried’s future is, um, better suited to literally anything but getting elected in Florida. Maybe she can make a reverse-snowbird move and jet off to New York to start afresh — but aside from that, she clearly can’t read her state, much less the room. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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