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Sunshine State Sunday

Posted By Jill Greenberg On January 28, 2008 @ 11:14 am In Bulletin Today,Washington Watch | No Comments

Sunday was a whirlwind day, with events following both a Democrat and a Republican.
The day started at a rally for former Governor Mitt Romney at the Jorge Mas Canosa Center in western Miami. The center is a small community center attached to a park in the middle of a residential area a stone’s throw from Calle Ocho, the main street of Miami’s Cuban community.
We’ve noticed in South Florida that frequently we get comments about the red shirts – red is affiliated with Chavez and Castro, which is not a good affiliation in Miami. But here, the crowd seems to be very friendly to us, and several people ask for side-by-sides. One man asks “who is the most bipartisan candidate?” Now we’re getting somewhere!
The school we passed in the neighborhood has a motto painted on the side of the building facing the turnpike: Bilingual, Biliterate, Bicultural. Speaking of multicultural, son Craig Romney speaks to the crowd in Spanish, then Romney, clad in a guyabera shirt, chatted with the crowd.
Later in the day, it was a different scene outside the Lucky Strike on Miami Beach, where Senator Hillary Clinton was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser. AARP staff and 30 plus volunteers from around the state clad in red shirts and stood with Champ and Divided We Fail signs. While we waited in 58 degrees (that is cold for Florida), State Director Lori Parham kept us from freezing by leading the rowdy group in a cheer – “What do we want?” “Health care and lifetime financial security!”
South Florida is a wacky place and this came through, particularly on Miami Beach. Among those in the melee waiting for Senator Clinton included a man who was singing and stripping down to a bathing suit. We considered drawing straws to talk to him about Divided We Fail, but focused instead on the passers by and reporters. We even got a few converts.
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