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A Floridian, not Elected, May Decide the Election

Post # 279, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

A Coral Gables politico may influence the national election for president and she has never run for any office.

There are a number of Floridians playing a major role in the 2024 Presidential election.

The list is led by the probable Republican nominee, former President Donald Trump. Our current Governor, Ron DeSantis is an announced candidate, currently running second in the Republican polling to Trump. Both of our current Republican Senators are mentioned, although not officially running--previous candidate, G.O.P. Senator Marco Rubio, and G.O.P. Senator Rick Scott. Current Miami Mayor Frances Suarez is announced G.O.P. candidate for President, but a decidedly long shot. So as the third largest state, we have three candidates for the highest office in the land and two more waiting in the wings.

But another Floridian has emerged as a key decision maker, maybe more important than the other five, and you have probably never heard the name.

It is Nancy Jacobson, a native Miamian from a prominent family. Nancy's father was a highly acclaimed attorney with whom I worked in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Nancy is married to a well-known national politico, Mark Penn. Penn has served as the political pollster for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Nancy is the founder and CEO of a national group called "No Labels." The organization serves the same function as an Independent Party in a traditional two-party national election. But, it seeks out specific candidates who agree in advance to the principles No Labels supports. Although no issues make up a platform yet, No Labels seems to be most concerned about immigration, the budget deficit, and whatever is a stalemate with the other two parties (i.e., almost everything). The group is scheduled to have a convention next spring after the March primaries. If satisfactory candidates are nominated, No Labels will drop their anticipated campaign. If the race is between Biden and Trump again, it is expected that No Labels will select a centrist ticket.

But, the biggest issue facing the No Labels potential campaign is the disruption it will create for the candidates. By most accounts, the group would take away votes from Biden as there is fear about his age. No Labels may be just what Trump needs to close the gap with Biden, even though they are for the most part Democrats favoring Biden. Another pressure created for No Labels is to force Biden to re-think about running and rally around a centrist candidate all parties except Trump can accept.

That decision may be made by an unelected Floridian, who is not named DeSantis.



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