Friday, October 17, 2014

Florida politics: Blowing cold air on hot air

Fan Delays Florida Debate, and Mocking Circulates Online

By LIZETTE ALVAREZ, NYT
OCT. 16, 2014

MIAMI — Clinging to caricature, Florida has once again stumbled into political farce. This time by way of a fan, a small black Vornado Air Circulator tucked discreetly — some said improperly — beneath former Gov. Charlie Crist’s lectern during Wednesday’s high-stakes governor’s race debate.

The fan delayed Gov. Rick Scott from taking the stage for seven minutes, in protest of an apparent rule violation. And it led to an almost immediate flurry of social media lampooning, helped along by Mr. Crist who asked, “Are we really going to debate a fan?”

The governor’s absence sent befuddled debate moderators scrambling for explanations. “Somehow, there is a fan there, and for that reason, ladies and gentlemen, I am being told Governor Scott will not join us,” Elliot Rodriguez, a debate moderator and a Miami television anchor, told the booing crowd.

By Thursday, #Fangate, as it was christened on Twitter, had devolved into a predictable campaign montage of finger-pointing, backpedaling, face-saving and, finally, money-raising. That’s because the fan kerfuffle, while seemingly trivial, breezed into the middle of a neck-and-neck race between Mr. Scott and Mr. Crist.

(More here.)

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