May 29, 2008

Florida Trend (Again)

Some day soon I'll wrap up researching the Florida Trend archive. It's useful not just because it's a great analytical magazine, but because it's a voice of business/commerce. Spice in the soup.

Update: finished with this magazine!! Cool.

Up from Tallahassee

I'm sifting through press clips from the Chiles-MacKay 1991 transition and reading about White House meddling in the Democratic Senate president race in Fall of 1990.

It really makes you think.

Because state legislators have a hand in re-writing U.S. Congressional district lines, they've got a hand in federal politics. Hence the White House pressure.

In The Fields, at the Cook Shack

Sometimes you've gotta pull back to see what's in front of you...that simple principle works almost every time in writing a book.

If I remember right, it was Malcolm Cowley who said America's literary expatriates had to go abroad to understand America enough to write about see the dragon's scales.

I was discussing with my family recently the importance of politicians having their own escapes, usually a rural hideaway of some sort tucked away from reporters and everyone else.

Our question was, what is Barack Obama's refuge? His Cook Shack? Where does he go to be alone?

I guess that is what makes him such a "post-racial", "post-modern," "international" candidate in the eyes of some. The rootlessness.

It's when that safety valve for a politicians seals up because of time pressure or political defeat or family trouble that problems start to arise...mental ones.

May 26, 2008


"I used to call turkeys in the spring with Lawton Chiles."

...says former U.S. Secretary of State and lifelong political fixer Jim Baker in HBO's new docudrama on the 2000 Florida recount fiasco, entitled Recount.

In a quick but glorious monologue, actor Tom Wilkinson skillfully conveys Baker's drawl and explains why Florida's Supreme Court is a not a recourse for the Bush-for-president legal team. Chiles, Baker's old hunting buddy from the Senate days, packed the court with "flaming liberals" who would do anything to allow a full and fair recount to proceed.

If you haven't seen Recount, check your listings for when it repeats on HBO. It premiered last night. Or ask a friend to tape it for you.

The cast is all-star, the script is punchy, the film's research team did their homework.

And: Lawton Chiles steals the show without ever showing his face or uttering a word. You know it's right when turkeys and Lawton Chiles are in the same sentence.