Bill McCollum is in a quandary. When Charlie Crist had a shot to move up (?) to the Senate (After he blew his shot to being McCain's VP) and opened up the governor's seat, Bill McCollum leapt at the chance to "move up" to Governor. As with all career politicians, it is about moving up the political ladder, not about 100% devoting yourself to the job you were elected for. And like Crist, he totally misread the mood of the electorate. 2010 is shaping up to be the tear of the Outsider, a role that McCollum cannot play.
His ENTIRE campaign in this primary has been to shout that Rick Scott is a "Thief". That is it. All other issues or positions have taken not just put in the backseat, they have been stuffed in a suitcase and locked in the car trunk. His establishment donor base has resorted to using 527's and their entire message has been: Rick Scott is a "Thief".
For the record: Rick Scott was never questioned, subpoenaed, or even interviewed by any law enforcement agencies about his role in his creation of the Biggest Private healthcare provider in the United States. I have made my thoughts on this issue made clear here.
When Rick Scott comes out with his vision of Florida's future, Bill McCollum first claims that Rick Scott stole his ideas. I would now like to point out that Republicans have a lot in common as far as their philosophy as to the role of Government, so it is only natural that they share some common goals and methods to achieve such goals. THAT'S WHAT MAKE REPUBLICANS "REPUBLICNANS"!!
However, when it became painfully apparent that Rick Scott had done a better job of packaging, presenting and explaining his plans for Florida, Bill McCollum, in almost less than 24 hours shifted his attack on Scott's "7-7-7" plan from claiming Scott stole his ideas to calling Scott's Plan "Silly". The correct Political Science term taught in the highest echelons of academia for this sudden change of message is "Flaying in the water in a hopeless attempt to keep from drowning while at the same time attracting sharks who smell blood in the water".
Now comes the news that Bill McCollum is practically broke and is taking public financing in order just to try to stay alive in the PRIMARY. (Alexis Sink, in an Ominous move, isn't sure if she will tap into public funds, which tells me she is confident the private liberal cash is going to flow to her). The correct Political Science term, once again, taught in the highest echelons of academia, for this is "I'm so desperate to get elected to something therefore I'm going to take Public financing that I have condemned in the past because, damn it, I'm the guy [Insert your Official Party here] insiders in [insert your state Capitol here] have endorsed and it is my turn, damn it" gambit. The short term for this is "hypocrite".
Fine. Bill McCollum can do what he wants, but is becoming increasingly clear that he IS NOT going to win this primary. Part of the reason McCollum is going to lose is because he has been out hustled, out politicked and out spent by Rick Scott. His campaign's failures, from being caught with its hand in the 527 cookie jar, to its inept "one note" tune and finally, the fact that donors have shut their wallets is the fault of one man and one man only. Bill McCollum.
But the real reason Bill McCollum is losing is that, let's face it, he is a 66 year old man who has done nothing in life except run for office or lobby other politicians in between elected jobs. Floridians and Americans are increasingly distrustful professional politicians of such individuals because they, (Democrat and Republican alike) have so horribly mismanaged our public finances. The second a legitimate, well-funded opposition stepped into the ring, McCollum's bid for governor was doomed.
On 25 August, 2010, I expect Bill McCollum to make a gracious retirement from politics and wholeheartedly endorse Rick Scott for Governor. I expect the same response from the RPOF, Senator Thrasher and all the Republican establishment in Florida.