Fear and Loathing in the Florida Primary

Jacksonville, Fla.—A five hour drive on the back roads of the Sunshine State will tell you that this is a very different primary contest than either New Hampshire or Iowa. In a state renowned for its tackiness, there are surprisingly few yard signs planted next to pink flamingos. Major intersections are devoid of mounted 4' X 8' signs and there are no rows of useless roadside signs either. Even the billboards that pollute your view don't display a single political ad.

While driving from Tampa to Jacksonville I listened to conspriacy theorist Alex Jones on WTAN, a low-wattage AM station based in Clearwater Beach. The bulk of the ads were about survival seeds, gold, and how we need to prepare for the time when we are all sent off to FEMA camps. There were no political ads, however, not even for Ron Paul, who is Jones' favorite candidate.

At the Radio Shack in Keystone Heights I saw one pro-Gingrich and two anti-Gingrich ads on television during the 10 minutes I spent shopping for a power converter. The clerk was puzzled about why I came "all the way from Boston" to her town. 

"I am here to cover the primary," I told her.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I am so sick of it already," she said.

Another Gingrich ad came on the TV.

"Ug," she groaned. 

The media landscape here is dominated by Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. I've heard nothing from either Paul or Rick Santorum on local radio or television. While Paul and Santorum did well in the earlier, smaller states because they pressed the flesh, they won't have that same success here. Paul's decentralized supporters are doing their own thing, but that approach is even more low-budget than Paul's official campaign operations. Standing on overpasses waving Ron Paul signs and handing out "super brochures" is just not the same as dropping $10 million into a television and radio camapign.

Given its size and reduced number of delegates, Florida is an expensive place for candidates with smaller budgets. Since Paul has a long-term game plan his decision not to play here makes sense. 

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Faust!

  • cathrine||

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  • jellydonut||

    Nevada, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota. Those will be *interesting*.

  • wareagle||

    "Ug," she groaned.
    ----------------------
    and how is this news? Even people NOT living in Florida get campaign weary after a while. Shove things in people's faces long enough and you will always have backlash.

  • db||

    Well, gee, I guess Garrett could have cut a whole 49 words from the piece so that you didn't have to read that bit of non-news. What is your problem with including a bit of human interest in a story on a topic that is 100% human interest? Politics is a popularity contest and when people get tired of it, it has some bearing on the outcome of the contest.

  • Spamtasticus||

    This is one Floridian voting for Paul.

  • The Angry RPh||

    Same here. In fact, I already did.

  • MacGhil||

    Those super brochures turn off more voters than not. But the SB dumbasses don't care.

    In other Florida news (via @RadleyBalko):

    FDLE won't open criminal investigation into Christie case
    http://www.winknews.com/Local-.....01-27/abcd

  • CE||

    Yeah, too many Ron Paul details dilute the message. Just say he's the only candidate who will actually CUT spending at all, and the only candidate with a consistent track record that proves you can trust him.

  • ||

    "In a state renowned for its tackiness, there are surprisingly few yard signs planted next to pink flamingos."

    That's because the "tackiness" you seem to think exists is just northern bigotry.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    ^^THIS^^

    I assume he also expects to see black lawn jockeys littering yards throughout the south.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    No, its because every other cops episode is in Florida. Also, I've been to one of those maritime themed restaurants that plays Jimmy Buffet music in Lauderdale or Sunrise or some bullshit city like that. Rachel's Steakhouse was alright, though.

  • ||

    "Also, I've been to one of those maritime themed restaurants that plays Jimmy Buffet music in Lauderdale or Sunrise or some bullshit city like that."

    Because gaudy, tacky restaurants are only found in FLorida...

  • Ted S.||

    Last I checked, there ain't no Waffle Houses in New Hampshire.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    That's for sure. I'd rather go to the Common Man.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Common Man is excellent, though a bit pricey for what you get.

  • Clara from Coös County||

    We made that damn boy franchising for Apple take down that glass and neon distraction that blocked the Cooper's Garage sign out on Wayne Blvd. Peeling paint and the pinkish red of iron oxidation is authentic, neon and silicate, not so much.

  • ||

    SPOOF

  • ||

    Because gaudy, tacky tourist traps are almost exclusively filled with idiot Northerners who think that gaudy, tacky themed restaurants are "real" local flavor, thereby reinforcing their smug stereotypes of Florida.

  • Floridian||

    "No, its because every other cops episode is in Florida"

    If you were taping a show that required you to do a lot of running around outside, mostly at night, would you choose to shoot your winter shows in relatively warm south Florida, or would you prefer slogging through a typical February in Buffalo?

  • ||

    Also, crime drops preciptously during the winter in Northern cities. Florida, you can film all year round.

  • ||

    You'd think they're actually growing Ron Paul signs on that farm.

  • o3||

    and soon they'll be ready for harvest...w zerkon encrusted tweezers.

    im moving to montana soon

    yipiee yi ow ki ay

  • Jumbie||

    alt-text needed: "Field of Dreams"

  • CE||

    Someone spread the seeds of liberty there four years ago.

  • Gojira||

    Standing on overpasses waving Ron Paul signs and handing out "super brochures" is just not the same as dropping $10 million into a television and radio camapign.

    Wait, I thought money couldn't influence campaigns?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    This is interesting to me because I am actually a survivalist. I prefer my supplies to be in liquid form, liquid being easy to store and transport.

  • Gojira||

    Isn't there a major trade-off because of the weight, though?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    No, because if you cube out your vehicle, you are using the space more efficiently than dry goods.

  • ||

    Also, it's difficult to reconstitute beer.

  • ||

    Meh, squirrel attack.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I never even considered such a thing to be desirable.

  • ||

    Dehydrated beer?

    Yeah, you could be onto something here. Think of the possibilities.

  • -||

    You can create a great tasting malt liquor by cold distillation. Put eight Indian Pale Ales in the freezer for ninety minutes to two hours. Pour the unfrozen portion into a pitcher and serve.

    For the remainder, let thaw and keep for cooking purposes (perfect constitution for beer battered onion rings).

  • -||

    India Pale Ales, not Injun!

  • Mensan||

    The problem is, even if you dehydrated beer it would still be liquid.

  • Gojira||

    Ah, see I've always been worried more about having things be man-portable, for when the gas runs out and/or the roads are jammed if there's some major event.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The first rule of survival is stay put.

  • Gojira||

    I'd rather not stay put in a large city which will have literally hordes of starving, desperate people in such a situation as would be happening in a survivalist scenerio.

    And besides, you mentioned cubing out your vehicle, implying that you would be transporting these items en masse post-collapse.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Haha, you live in a large city.

    Ummm Rule 1.2. is to stay dry. Also after analyzing the situation you may decide to go somewhere else. Liquid goods will always be in demand so may be reluctantly traded.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    One more thing. If you absolutely have to go hiking, you want your stuff to be woman-portable.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    Woman goods will always be in demand so may be traded reluctantly.

  • BigT||

    What we need is a man portable, re-constituted woman. Less bitching while on the move.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The first rule of survival is stay put.

    True, but when you gotta bug-out, you best have all your shit in one bag, literally and metaphorically.

  • ||

    Yes, but it's very difficult to reconstitute beer.

  • ||

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    ad honorem

  • ||

    and I subwork under police survailance (NOT CASTROCOYOTE LOURDEZMARTINEZ HAVING ME HOMELESS AND RULING MY REAL BLOODLINE FAMILY UNDER STOCHOLME SINDROME, but I jailed sheriffes of homestead, broward (stealing my ID a farc terrorist), all sofla auuhtorities KNEW CASTROCOYOTE MARTINEZ WANTED MY SISTER DEAD/TORTURED, MY MOM, FAMILY, ANY WHO DARES TO HELP ME,
    wao!! THIS LIBRARY HAS noisy "theater miami bailouted $(BEET) NEWYORK SODOMIC PRESHARIA IMBECILITY TO RUN NOW, SO i HAVE TO LEAVE OR "GO CRAZY" TO THE HANDS OF LOCAL POLICE INSURGENCY for terrro santuaries...

  • ||

    The fuck?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The clerk was puzzled about why I came "all the way from Boston" to her town.

    She's usually just puzzled why people come into Radio Shack at all.

  • db||

    It sure isn't for their wide selection of electronic components.

  • ||

    Omg, "THE ACT STARTED AND THE 10 PEOPLE HERE INCLUIDING THE GOV PERSONNEL ARE LAUGHING ON ME, THEY HAVE KIDS LAUGHING, POLICE MOST BE BABBLING WAITING FOR ME TO "GO AT LIST CHARLIE SHEEN...
    i WANT SAME SCRTUTINY FOR THE POLICE LEFT NOT JAILED AS THE ANAMONTES AGENT GOV COPIES

  • ||

    moregov "POLICE MEGACRIMES PARALEGAL KILLING THREAT: they are screamming!! the rolls, 5 ACTORS, 4 LIBRARY (gov paralegals waiting for me to go charliesheen at list, BUT I'M YOUTUBING LA FLOR DE LA MAñANA, Presuntosimplicados an Iberian band, (I heard castroland elites like'm on cuba, but the singerlady quited that... I think, I'm not what police sayis on me on santuaries, same as the gangters on me, TEA mind police will fail always to re-bhork "paralegaly induce to crime, even having castrocoyote martinez adding viagra, extasis , poison minimun dayly, laxativez, depending if I will contact viagraed extasis wild underagegirls, or workintervews... a viagra at the 1st date is... "killer",

  • o3||

    oh great, now i need 3D glasses to bring ur screed into focus

  • Anacreon||

    depakote, lithium and seroquel are all effective for manic episodes

  • NoStar||

    Does Radio Shack still ask for your name, address, social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, and a valid driver's license when you buy a battery?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    It seemed to be when you return shit.

  • db||

    They kind of stopped. I kept telling them my name was Andrew Jackson.

    Really, they used to ask all the time, and I told them I don't like getting junk mail. They would always insist (I think it was a corporate policy) that they didn't send junk mail, only advertising flyers.

    Anyway, I noted in the last three years or so they stopped asking. I asked why, and they said it was annoying customers so they changed the policy.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "they didn't send junk mail, only advertising flyers"

    Some of those marketing people must have gone on to work for the Obama administration.

  • killazontherun||

    Took them only a quarter of century to get around to changing that policy, I'm impressed. That slow response just confirms my suspicions they became a government ran out fit sometime in the late 80's. I use to go there all the time to buy electronic parts for my various attempts at super villainy, but then one day of dismay I came to the scene of a crime, the store looked no different than a Walmart consumer electronics department. No thank you, Radio Shack, if I need parts I just order them on line now, and if I need consumer electronic goods, I'm usually needing some new underwear too.

  • killazontherun||

    Actually, that is not quite the case; I rarely buy consumer electronic goods at Wal-Mart, but I do check out the section when I'm in there just in case there is a sale on something like an external hard drive (last thing I purchased in that category from there, going for half the price I spotted elsewhere -- over a year ago!) that's in my cheap ass price range.

  • Floridian||

    Saw a cluster of political signs (pretty much one for each Presidential candidate, plus some local races) on a corner near an early polling location in Gainesville... and that's about it for signs.

  • Guest1776||

    Mitt Romney in 1994 "The Blind Trust Is An Age Old Ruse."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkikKelEuQM

    Romney Explains Foreclosure Investments: They 'were in a blind trust'
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Dg4wpZNRo

  • ||

    You know that was 18 years ago, right? In 1994 I was a hardcore socialist who thought Reagan was teh devil.

  • Artus||

    Is it just me or does it seem like this article abruptly stopped? I looks like the remainder of the piece, the portion with an actual point, was cut off, and whatever you call the above is all that remains.

  • Artus||

    "Last I checked, there ain't no Waffle Houses in New Hampshire."

    "There ain't no" Waffle Houses in New Jersey, either, but that doesn't evince culture, or a lack of tackiness.

  • Xenocles||

    You say that as though New Jersey needed help to achieve that status.

  • Libertarian2||

    So what are the opinions here about the "campaign for liberty" site and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion"?? Is it just a case of a blog contributor putting something on the the c4L site?http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/01/26/scrubbing-the-protocols-of-the-elders-of-ron-paul-2/

  • Libertarian2||

  • killazontherun||

    You are a man on a mission. To be the least comprehensible person on this site is not a great goal, but it is one you not only meet but excel.

  • killazontherun||

    I blame it on the Gentiles. If their children didn't have such yummy tasting blood who would ever want to serve it as a soup with matzo balls?

  • cynical||

    I would imagine it's either a hoax or a case of hacking the site. No way in this day and age that someone aiming to appeal at a wider crowd than Neo-nazis would think that shit would fly.

  • Father Jack||

    Feck arsebiscuits who rip off Hunter S Thompson because they're too lazy to create their own headline. Drink! Arse! Girls!

  • ||

    Given its size and reduced number of delegates, Florida is an expensive place for candidates with smaller budgets. Since Paul has a long-term game plan his decision not to play here makes sense.

    Paul has a much bigger budget than Gingrich; the Gingrich people (or should I say the Sheldon Alderson PAC people) are spending like crazy in FL because it's the last southeastern primary for a while and they need "momentum" to carry Newt through the unfriendly states coming up, where they don't serve turnip greens and fried okra.

  • CE||

    If Newt loses Florida, it's "game over, man." Mitt will most likely win all of the Western, Northeastern, and Northern states. Gingrich could win some in the South, but if the media writes him off now he will no longer be competitive.

    Which shouldn't surprise anyone. The primaries have gone almost exactly to form. A social conservative with no shot at the nomination won Iowa, Romney won his next door state New Hampshire, and Gingrich won his next door state South Carolina.

  • ||

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  • ||

    Sounds like ap lan to me dude.

    www.pc-privacy.tk

  • CE||

    Candidates with smaller budgets? Ron Paul raised more in Q4 than Gingrich did (13 million to 9 million), and outraised him by a larger margin earlier in the year.

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