BY BUDDY NEVINS
Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca endorsement of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is an ingenious political move.
LaMarca, the commission’s only Republican, avoids politics when he explains why he supported the conservative Perry over other GOP candidates.
“I am supporting Gov. Perry because as I expressed earlier, my primary consideration in 2012 is ‘jobs, jobs, jobs.’ Our country’s economy continues, at best, to stagnate, and I believe that the greatest challenge facing our nation is putting Americans back to work.
Many of the candidates for president have strong records on job creation, as well as great ideas to jump start the American economy and prepare our country to meet future challenges, but I believe that Gov. Perry has the strongest track record and has demonstrated tremendous leadership in this area. As some detractors have stated, Texas has many positive attributes, I would point out that so do many other states and so does our country relative to the rest of the world. Gov. Perry has proven experience creating a pro-growth economic environment, and that is the record of accomplishment that I am looking for.”
Ok, that’s what Team Perry told LaMarca to say. It is Perry’s key campaign message: The governor created jobs in Texas and he can do the same for the nation.
Even when asked specific questions about other issues, LaMarca kept going back to the campaign boilerplate.
LaMarca’s Real Reasons?
So let me speculate.
Other leading Broward Republicans were already supporting Mitt Romney or other candidates. No politician likes to be the last one on the campaign bus, so LaMarca picked a campaign where he would be first: Perry.
LaMarca became the first important Broward endorsement of Perry. It’s a nice place to be if Perry wins, which is very possible.
In return for the early endorsement, Team Perry put LaMarca on their state leadership team.
LaMarca is now a member of a team that includes Speaker of the Florida House Dean Cannon of Winter Park and the next Florida Senate President Don Gaetz. Not bad company!
There is only benefits for LaMarca in this endorsement. If Perry loses, no one will hold it against the county commissioner.
I’ve heard some talk that the endorsement puts LaMarca at odds with voters in his moderate district. Yet many of the same Northeast Broward folks voted for U. S. Congressman Allen West, the darling of the Tea Party folks.
The commissioner ducked specific questions whether he supports Perry on controversial issues like Social Security and abortion. LaMarca kept repeating his mantra of “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
I can’t image many in LaMarca’s district want to see today’s Social Security system gutted. Or see the direct election of U. S. Senators ended in favor of having them appointed by the state Legislature. Or see a constitutional amendment banning abortion.
All these are positions that Perry has backed in the past.
But I don’t believe LaMarca cares about those positions. LaMarca just believes Perry can win…and he wants to go along for the ride.