WaPo: Mel Martinez won’t run again in 2010

posted at 11:46 am on December 2, 2008 by Allahpundit

He wants “more free time and a less scheduled life,” which, given his approval rating, is probably what he would have ended up with anyway.

I wonder how the GOP base will greet the news.

Martinez’s decision was based on a desire for more free time and a less scheduled life, said the source. The first term senator also was an almost certain Democratic target in two years time although those familiar with Martinez’s political prospects insisted his strengths in South Florida, coupled with his political base along the I-4 corridor, made his path to reelection possible…

On the Republican side, there may well be a push to recruit former Gov. Jeb Bush into the contest although that seems like a long shot. State Attorney General Bill McCollum will almost certainly be mentioned as will state Senate President Jeff Atwater and former state House speaker Marco Rubio. Rep. Vern Buchanan may also consider a run…

President-elect Barack Obama’s victory in Florida last month coupled with Martinez’s ties to the unpopular outgoing president made him a major target for Democrats heading into the 2010 cycle. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted last month showed 36 percent of Florida voters though Martinez deserved a second term while 38 percent did not — troubling numbers for any incumbent.

He might quit early to let Crist appoint a successor so that his replacement has an incumbency advantage in two years. Who’ll be Maverick’s Florida point man on that looming amnesty deal now? Whoever fills Martinez’s seat, probably: Crist is pro-amnesty himself, and since Obama won Latinos there by 15 percent, expect no resistance from the newbie when comprehensive reform finally hits the floor. Exit question: How do we feel about Jeb? Granted, his rhetoric suggests he wouldn’t buck the Bush family trend on immigration, but as I say, that’ll be true of whoever wins. Time for some redemption for a guy unfairly poisoned by a toxic surname?


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Hmmm…. setting up for 2012?

This guy is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

upinak on December 2, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Adios Muchacho. Don’t let the Puerta hit you in the Nalga on the way out.

portlandon on December 2, 2008 at 11:52 AM

President-elect Barack Obama’s victory in Florida last month coupled with Martinez’s ties to the unpopular outgoing president made him a major target for Democrats heading into the 2010 cycle.

Bush unpopular in Florida? Didn’t he won by 6 points in 2004 & McCain is unpopular to lose Fl. in 2008?

Anita on December 2, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Could Crist appoint himself to the seat?

Slublog on December 2, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Mel is going to run for Mexico’s President now……

SDarchitect on December 2, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Exit question: How do we feel about Jeb?

Jeb? I have no problem whatsoever with that name.

Bush? That’s a different story. We founded this country to get away from dynasties.

logis on December 2, 2008 at 11:57 AM

portlandon on December 2, 2008 at 11:52 AM

LOL.

He was horrible. Cuban Americans in Florida were upset with Martinez and his amnesty stance.
Well, as a Cuban American I am delighted he is out. We need a conservative anti-illegal immigration senator in that state.
Notice that Mel’s approval ratings went downhill after he voted for the immigration bill and even more voting for the bailout. His democrat senate colleague of Florida voted against it! RNC got a lot of fixing to do.

jencab on December 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Great news! My congratulations to the Republican Party of Florida for showing this douche the door!

Next stop, RINO Crist.

epluribusunum on December 2, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Jeb seems like a good guy. It’s unfortunate that his family ties weight him down more than he deserves.

He doesn’t need to run for President in the near future, but a Senate seat might be a good chance for him to demonstrate his values on a national stage. Who knows, maybe even a couple of terms as a Senator would help differentiate him as his own political individual.

I think it’s a long shot he’ll try for Senate, and a longer shot he’d ever end up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. If it’s gonna happen, I can only see it going down this way.

cs89 on December 2, 2008 at 12:04 PM

I’m not terribly familiar with Florida’s politics. Who would be a genuine conservative who actually believes in upholding our sovereignty by protecting the borders?

DrMagnolias on December 2, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Jeb Bush is fine with me. Granted he was born into a political dynasty…but that did not stop him from being a very able governor.

HawaiiLwyr on December 2, 2008 at 12:05 PM

And there was much rejoicing.

Thresher on December 2, 2008 at 12:05 PM

See ya.

CP on December 2, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Hopefully, we can get a real conservative in there. By the way, what’s Crist ever done besides get a tan? Anyone wanna clue me in?

CP on December 2, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Tom Feeney was awesome.

Socmodfiscon on December 2, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Another Floridian who’s glad to see Mel leaving. I made numerous, numerous calls to his office regarding amnesty. It was especially infuriating because he went back on campaign promises:

Our immigration policy, however, must first and foremost ensure the security of our great nation and its citizens. Especially during these treacherous times, our focus must be on preventing those who would harm us from entering our country and in providing the resources our border agents need in order to accomplish this. I oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. I support a plan that matches workers with needy employers without providing a path to citizenship. Immigration to this country must always be done through legal means.

That quote’s from a google cache of his campaign website. He later scrubbed the page. On the Issues continues to carry some of his backtracking.

INC on December 2, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Some more good news.

Vashta.Nerada on December 2, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Listen: vote AGAINST any open borders or otherwise moderate Republicans in 2010. We need good candidates. MAYBE an exception for Arlen Specter because then we would be spared Chris Matthews, but then again he would be off TV.

Thoughts?

The Dean on December 2, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Mel is going to run for Mexico’s President now……

SDarchitect on December 2, 2008 at 11:57 AM

You are a phony. Don’t come around trying to make us look as stupid as you are.

He’s American. He was born in Cuba and came here as a teen. You will probably never appreciate freedom as much as someone who lost it.

You are the problem with the party. You and your ilk are a problem for the party. You likely don’t understand truly conservative tenets and think being a Republican means being anti-abortion and pro war.

Dipshit.

The Race Card on December 2, 2008 at 12:14 PM

Oh yeah…good riddance Mel! You have your amnesty now.

The Race Card on December 2, 2008 at 12:16 PM

“Martinez’s decision was based on a desire for more free time and a less scheduled life”…Right

How much free time and a lesser schedule does he want? Just how many hours and how many days is the U.S. Senate in session each year? 5/day and 100/year? Heck, even filibusters are scheduled…

Thanks for being a statesman…bye now

Gohawgs on December 2, 2008 at 12:18 PM

I’m fine with Bush, Jeb Bush.

rbj on December 2, 2008 at 12:28 PM

good…

gatorboy on December 2, 2008 at 12:33 PM

I have been emailing him for a while since he voted for the bailout. I am a voter in Florida and told him he lost at least 2 votes. Crist will lose his Governorship too. He is too moderate, actually he sucks. He panders to whomever will listen. I hope true conservatives run. Hey maybe Sarah Palin can move to Florida and take over! We can dream can’t we.

Mercy4Me on December 2, 2008 at 12:38 PM

jencab on December 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM

What do you think of Marco Rubio? I heard he’s a strong fiscal and social conservative. Plus, he’s from Miami, which should help electorally.

IR-MN on December 2, 2008 at 12:41 PM

What do you think of Marco Rubio? I heard he’s a strong fiscal and social conservative. Plus, he’s from Miami, which should help electorally.

IR-MN on December 2, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Rubio’s lack of leadership on the budget led us to the crisis we have now in our state budget, whatever his rhetoric, his actions are lousy on fiscal policy.

Squid Shark on December 2, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Crist will lose his Governorship too. He is too moderate, actually he sucks. He panders to whomever will listen. I hope true conservatives run. Hey maybe Sarah Palin can move to Florida and take over! We can dream can’t we.

Mercy4Me on December 2, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Crist is still ridiculously popular, you know that. The only Dem who may have a chance is Alex Sink and we all know how her husband did against Jeb!

Squid Shark on December 2, 2008 at 12:49 PM

The Governor’s going to appoint his latino brother, Jesus Crist.

mylegsareswollen on December 2, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Jeb! may be open-border, but is law-and-order enough to not render it a total cakewalk.

Other than that, I welcome Senator Jeb!, and look forward to him submitting a Federal version of FS 776. Segunda Enmienda, Bichas!

Kid from Brooklyn on December 2, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Time for some redemption for a guy unfairly poisoned by a toxic surname?

Not at all. His pro-amnesty, anti-drilling stance makes him death in my book. Screw all “moderates.”

urbancenturion on December 2, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Take Lindsey Graham with you.

SuperCool on December 2, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Not at all. His pro-amnesty, anti-drilling stance makes him death in my book. Screw all “moderates.”

urbancenturion on December 2, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Enjoy your years of obscurity, then because the “Moderates” have you outnumbered 4 to 1.

Squid Shark on December 2, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Could Crist appoint himself to the seat?

Slublog on December 2, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Unless Florida law bans it, he could.

There was a case in, I believe Alabama, the sitting governor appointed himself to an open senate seat, then resigned from the Governorship.

The only problem was there was a couple of days between his resigning and the swearing in of the senate.

The Lt. Gov., after he was sworn in, noted that the senate seat was still technically vacant, so he appointed himself to the senate seat, but he made the date and time of his resignation so that it was at the same time as the senate swearing in. Leaving the first gov out in the cold.

MarkTheGreat on December 2, 2008 at 1:10 PM

How do you say “Hallelujah” in espanol?

And NO to Crist as well.

stenwin77 on December 2, 2008 at 1:12 PM

As someone who lived in Florida for nearly twenty years, let me say that to be fair to Martinez, it’s very hard for a Republican to stay true to Republican principles in that state. This is because the Hispanics, who normally vote Republican (especially the Cubans) are generally speaking very warm to a lot of rather left-wing ideas. Many of them want bilingual education in the public schools (funded by the taxpayers, of course), affirmative action for Hispanics(even in places like Miami where the place is run by folks with Spanish surnames), and of course a very open immigration policy. A true conservative Republican probably couldn’t win there.

radjah shelduck on December 2, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Goodbye, punk.

Chris37 on December 2, 2008 at 1:21 PM

One less RINO!

pilamaye on December 2, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Go away RINO’s

Big Orange on December 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Enjoy your years of obscurity, then because the “Moderates” have you outnumbered 4 to 1.

Squid Shark on December 2, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Anti-amnesty and pro-drilling are two issues that typically poll well over 50% for all Americans, not just conservatives.

Thresher on December 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM

some political reality here, any Senator that is electable from Florida is going to have a weak Immigration stance. Can’t win without the Cuban vote, period.

Jeb should be good and I say likely what is going on behind the scenes

jp on December 2, 2008 at 1:26 PM

anyone doubt that the Bush Family is powerful and in good with the GOP side of “Big business” and they aren’t pulling some strings behind the scenes to get Jeb in there with W on the way out?

Although, I’d like for someone to take out that Dem Senator in Florida in 2012 to. That could be a seat pick up with we ran someone other than Katharine Harris

jp on December 2, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Rubio’s lack of leadership on the budget led us to the crisis we have now in our state budget

Really? I thought for sure it was because of a shortfall in revenue, which is related to the economic downturn. I’m curious as to what you think he should have done?

I R A Darth Aggie on December 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Speaking for Florida conservatives, Good Riddance!

johnsteele on December 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Good. He’s a clown.

Jaibones on December 2, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Mel Martiez couldn’t win with Ronald Reagan campaigning for him. He destroyed his chances when he sided with Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid and John McCain on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. He will be instrumental in getting it through this time too.

Don’t count Jeb Bush out. He likely would have run against Bill Nelson in 2006 and won, but Catherine Harris was promised a the shot at it, for having dropped out of the primaries in 2004 so as not to be a lighting rod and Hurt George Bush’s chances in the Presidential election. The strategy worked and Jeb lived up to his promise.

Jeb is highly regarded in the state, far more so than his successor, Charlie Crist.

Corky Boyd on December 2, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Good riddance to the worthless sack. Too bad he’s riding it out to 2010.

As a Native Cracker, I can say that in my conservative circles Jeb is mostly regarded as a good Gov. He did some really stupid things with a few FDOT contracts but other than that there’s not too much to bitch about. Now, the Greek, on the other hand…

wtaft on December 2, 2008 at 1:55 PM

As someone who voted for him, and as someone who was going to vote against him, I’m glad for once a Republican made a good decision.

Enoxo on December 2, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Jeb was a fantastic governor and a superb crisis manager. He would be a waste in the Senate but this would be a good holding place for him for later when the Bush name returns to credibility after Obama messes things up.

rickreyn on December 2, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Really? I thought for sure it was because of a shortfall in revenue, which is related to the economic downturn. I’m curious as to what you think he should have done?

I R A Darth Aggie on December 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM”

He could have spent a little less time screwing around with legislation about Bull Testicle Trailer Hitch Bills and spent more time demanding a truly balanced budget. He could have demanded that needless pork and lousy land deals be removed from the equation. He could have demanded the elimination of unecessary budget items instead of insisting in cuts in the justice budget. Should I continue?

Squid Shark on December 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Goodbye and good riddance, Martinez.

AZCoyote on December 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Jeb is highly regarded in the state, far more so than his successor, Charlie Crist.

Corky Boyd on December 2, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Jeb is highly regarded but Crists approval ratings are still higher than anything Jeb got.

Squid Shark on December 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Buh bye moron, oh and thanks for the great job you did as RNC head, you really helped us out a lot.

WisCon on December 2, 2008 at 2:39 PM

As a Florida native, happy to see him go. I was not stomaching the prospect of having to vote against a Dem (and thereby have no alternative but to render my vote to him). Maybe Adam Putnam would be willing to step up to the Senate.

raz0r on December 2, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Another quitter. Thanks for your contributions to the Party and to your country. Now go play golf, or sell oranges by the freeway or whatever it is that you do.

grdred944 on December 2, 2008 at 3:21 PM

I less Rino to deal with.Good news

thmcbb on December 2, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Time for some redemption for a guy unfairly poisoned by a toxic surname?

Dude! His wife and children would stick him in the doghouse if he didn’t go full force towards Amnesty.

Sultry Beauty on December 2, 2008 at 5:03 PM

A typical George W. Bush appointee to head the RNC. We might as well have appointed Howard Dean.

Hilts on December 2, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Jeb was a fantastic governor and a superb crisis manager. He would be a waste in the Senate but this would be a good holding place for him for later when the Bush name returns to credibility after Obama messes things up.

rickreyn on December 2, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Please no more effing Bush’s and their compassionate conservative B.S. Enough already.

Hilts on December 2, 2008 at 6:31 PM

I wonder how the GOP base will greet the news.

LOL! With glee.

It wasn’t just amnesty with Martinez — he and Nelson
(D) tag-teamed to block offshore drilling.

Jeb was a good governor; very steady through 9/11, the anthrax scare, and some bad years of damaging hurricanes not named Katrina.

Crist? He helped give us McCain, but he’s deeply saddened he didn’t get the VP nod. Now he’ll go back to working on his tan in between those important conferences on global warming.

Nichevo on December 2, 2008 at 8:35 PM

Good riddance! And take Jeb and Charlie with you!

swampy on December 3, 2008 at 10:08 AM

WaPo: Mel Martinez won’t run again in 2010

Mel Martinez, talk a bout a empty and wasted suit…good riddance pendejo. I still don’t understand why he was put in to chair the RNC? By doing so, he just let the organization slide farther down hill???

byteshredder on December 3, 2008 at 11:00 AM