Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MacKay Run Reminiscent of Dole in '96

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MacKay Run Reminiscent of Dole in '96

Article excerpt

It wasn't a good news week for Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay and the

Florida Democratic Party.

All the talk about a group of party stalwarts searching for an

alternative gubernatorial candidate doesn't exactly inspire

confidence in MacKay, the Democratic frontrunner.

If prominent Democrats are casting doubt on MacKay's chances in

a general election against Republican Jeb Bush, what are voters

supposed to think?

"When a group of leading Democrats get together to potentially

draft an independent, then Buddy MacKay is no longer an option,"

said Rick Dantzler, a former state senator and one of MacKay's

primary opponents. "I don't know how Buddy puts it back together

again after all of this."

Actually, MacKay remains the party's strongest option. The same

polls report him trailing Bush by 11 percentage points and

holding strong leads over Dantzler and Arnold.

Right now, however, Democrats must be wondering whether they're

heading down the same road the Republicans took when they

nominated Bob Dole to run against Bill Clinton in the 1996

presidential race.

The parallels are there.

Looking for an alternative to Dole, the GOP front-runner, many

Republicans urged retired Gen. Colin Powell to enter the

presidential race. Others turned to magazine publisher Steve

Forbes. Some Democrats have tried to recruit Miami Herald

publisher David Lawrence, a non-politician like Powell and


In 1996, the feeling in the GOP was that Dole, a longtime

party loyalist, had earned a shot at the presidency. It was his

turn. Today, it's MacKay's turn. Many Democrats feel MacKay,

also a longtime party loyalist, has earned his shot at the

Governor's Office.

Early 1996 GOP polls showed Dole losing to Clinton, but the

party nominated him anyway. Early 1998 polls show MacKay losing

to Bush yet well on his way to winning the Democratic


Democrats bristle at any comparison of MacKay and Dole.

"I totally disagree that Buddy and Bob Dole are similar," said

Michelle Kucera, a spokeswoman for MacKay's campaign. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.