Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine wants to be governor, but the outlook is bleak.
The problem, he believes, is that nobody really knows who he is. So today he launched a bus tour that will head to Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Pensacola, Tampa, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Key Largo over four days.
The tour is reminiscent of former governor and U.S Sen. "Walkin'" Lawton Chiles' 1,000-mile hike across Florida in 1970. That stroll launched an important person to an important political career.
Levine's trip is more like a magical mystery tour. The guy is a multimillionaire who has spent his own money — $1.6 million on ads so far, some from contributors — to buy ads that haven't done much of anything to raise his profile.
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He's not a bad guy. He might even be better than extraterrestrial Rick Scott, the current top dog in Florida. But Levine is thin-skinned, lied during his tenure about Zika, and is about the most ham-handed political campaigner we have ever seen.
Here is how Levine described his mission, according to the Miami Herald: "Tallahassee always tells us what they want us to hear. I’m going around this state to make sure they hear from us. From the living rooms of Florida, we will let Tallahassee know that climate change is real, the minimum wage is unlivable, that drilling off our shores is off-limits, and that taking away our right to home rule is out of the question.”
Problem is, Levine is unlikely to beat the Democratic frontrunner, Gwen Graham, a former member of the U.S. House of Representative and the daughter of former senator and governor Bob Graham. She is miles ahead of Levine in early polls. And as we have seen in recent days, more women in high places, particularly the U.S. Senate and governors' chairs, is what America needs.
So get off the bus, Phil.