Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High-Tech Strategy Fails at Rubio Event; He Couldn't Connect to Skype Video Chat

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High-Tech Strategy Fails at Rubio Event; He Couldn't Connect to Skype Video Chat

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID HUNT

Health care reform led to much talk and many tweets as political candidates focused on Northeast Florida, some picking somewhat unorthodox ways of trying to convey the message.

For Marco Rubio, the former Florida House speaker running for U.S. Senate, that method was Skype, a Web site that enables users to make videophone-type calls over the Internet.

Rubio was scheduled to chat over the Web with the Federated Republican Women of Clay on Wednesday, but a technical glitch killed the appointment.

Club President Marge Hutton said something went wrong with the wireless Internet connection at the meeting site, leaving 65 or so attendees - a number slightly larger than average at the monthly luncheons - disappointed.

"We've talked with people in Spain and Ireland, but we couldn't get to Tampa," Hutton said, emphasizing the irony.

Rubio remains ahead of Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination, although two polls suggest his recent surge in popularity might be coming back down to earth. Rasmussen Reports had Rubio 22 percentage points ahead on Tuesday, then on Friday a Mason-Dixon poll favored him by 11.

Earlier polls had Rubio ahead by more than 30.

TWEET, TWEET

Whomever wins the GOP nod in the Senate race will likely face Democrat Kendrick Meek, a Miami congressman, in the Nov. 2 general election.

Meek's support of the health care overhaul President Barak Obama signed into law last week has drawn fire from the GOP candidates in the race.

That didn't stop him from posting 10 updates to his page on the Twitter social network as he attended the signing ceremony. He even posted a picture of the president with his pen to the page.

Whether support of health care reform will help or hurt a candidate is a question up in the air, said a number of political observers The Times-Union interviewed on the matter last week. …

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