Judd is Florida’s version of Sheriff Joseph Arpaio — minus the overdose of Viagra
(This column was originally posted on December 21 of last year. Four months later, the message still applies. When will a serious candidate emerge in the Fla. U.S. Senate race? We’ve got to demand better than the current crop of candidates or we’re doomed with 6 more years of Bill Nelson. Candidate updates in red.)
By Chris Ingram
Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff Grady Judd (R) is known to residents of Florida’s I-4 corridor as a no-nonsense law enforcement officer who knows how to identify a problem, take aim at it, and put the bad guys in jail. He’s a lot like Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio minus the overdose of Viagra.
The man knows how to get things done.
Now put Grady Judd aside for a moment and consider the likely Republican candidates for Florida’s U.S. Senate race in 2012 – the seat that is currently held by Bill “do-nothing” Nelson (D).
State Senate President Mike Haridopolos – If you want to know what a political empty suit looks like in post-Charlie Crist Florida look no further than Haridopolos. He may be a college professor, but intellectually stimulating he is not. Just consider the first paragraph of his bio on his official website. This is what it says:
“Over the years, some have guessed that a Haridopolos is some species of sea turtle or dinosaur. But Haridopolos actually refers to history professor and Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos.”
I’m dead serious. That is the first line of the bio of the incoming Senate President of the fourth largest state in our union. Check it out for yourself and see. This guy is an idiot. (Update: Haridopolos called me last month and we made nice with each other. Still, I argue his qualifications are thinner than the walls at the Motel 6 and we can do better).
Former (appointed) U.S. Sen.George LeMieux – The mastermind behind Charlie Crist’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign also served as Crist’s chief of staff and was later appointed to the last two years of Mel Martinez’s Senate seat by his friend and mentor Crist. But when the going got tough for Charlie and he dumped the GOP, LeMieux stayed true to the party. But he’ll have a hard time running from his famous comment “I am a Charlie Crist Republican.” Like Haridopolos, LeMieux is another political ladder-climber who knows little outside of politics and nothing about the real world. (Update: if you’re not sure what a CCR is, consider Peter Rummell is supporting Alvin Brown, the liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville. Rummell is also a big supporter of LeMieux’s).
Connie Mack IV — Similar to Haridoplos and LiMieux, Mack’s resume is a little thin. His official bio lists all the great things he’s done as a politician. The same bio has a one-sentence paragraph about his experience as a business executive and marketing consultant for three weeks before he was elected to his daddy’s old congressional seat. At least Haridopolos got elected on his own name, not that of his old man’s. (Update: last month Mack announced he will not run).
Mike McCallister – Not much is known about the man who got 10 percent in the Republican Primary for governor this year, but McCalister can’t be ignored – at least not yet. He’s a military man with a PhD and claims to have all the experience people like Mack and Haridopolos lack. McCalister’s biggest problem is himself. Specifically, his lack of understanding of the political system and how important money, fundraising, and media are to a successful campaign. His CV reads like the appendix to the worst textbook you ever read (Update: even worse than Haridopolos’).
So there’s a short take on some of the likely or potential candidates for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate. If any of these guys inspire you, look no further than your own mirror to understand what the hell is wrong with America. These guys (Mack, LeMieux, and Haridopolos) are not leaders, they’re opportunists who will tell you anything you want to hear to get elected. McCalister is delusional.
Now back to Grady Judd. He’s a man of accomplishment. He’s the sheriff of Polk County (one of the larger counties in Florida). He got himself there through hard work and determination. According to his bio, Judd started out as a lowly dispatcher with the agency in 1972. He has his Masters degree and is a graduate of the FBI Academy. He was elected sheriff in 2004 with 64 percent of the vote in a three-man race.
Since I’ve dinged others for their lack of private sector experience, Judd gets that ding too. But what he lacks in private sector work he makes up for in leadership, managing a multi-million dollar budget, and overseeing a department of over 1,000 employees.
Another ding on Judd is he is something of a shameless self-promoter/media whore. But to that I am reminded of an old man who was a family friend when I was a boy who used to say, “If you can’t brag about the frogs on your own pond, nobody else will.” Besides, Judd’s self-promotion is so good it comes across as though he’s doing it all for you and not just to get his face on TV. Oh, and did I mention he’s never been mistaken for a turtle?
And more importantly, did I mention bad guys hate Grady Judd? People in Washington are mostly bad guys. They’ll hate him too. You know, for calling them on all their B.S. and expecting them to follow the law, be ethical, and stuff like that.
Judd is exactly the type of guy we need in Washington, D.C.
We’ve got enough lawyers, career politicians and dimwits with questionable ethics.
Imagine Grady Judd being in the U.S. Senate.
Now suppose Barbara Walters interviews him about the state of affairs in America.
Walters: Senator Judd, what is wrong with America today?
Judd*: Barbara, it’s really very simple. We keep electing people to represent us who don’t have any vision for America’s future or long-term prosperity. They’re all more interested in getting re-elected than they are about securing a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. They should be locked up for treason not re-elected to office.
Walters: What about China? What should we do about America’s growing debt to China, the trade imbalance, and China’s military buildup?
Judd*: Barbara, this one is also really simple. All we’ve got to do is quit buying all this crap they [the Chinese] make and sell at Wal-Mart for about six months and China will all but disappear. We should have a moratorium on Chinese product sales and should lock up any American company’s CEO who sends another manufacturing job to China – or Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter. But we’ve also got to lock up the Democrats who pass the laws, regulations, and tax increases that make doing business in America so expensive and uncompetitive. And the union bosses are running the companies their members work for into the ground too. We should lock them up too. Have you ever met a poor union boss? They practically steal from their members and keep up this charade about working for their interests. Where I come from we call that a crock of you-know-what.
Walters: What do you think about Castro and the Cuban embargo?
Judd*: U.S. politicans have been pandering to a small but vocal Cuban community to support the embargo. It’s been fifty some-odd years and Castro is still there. Wake up folks the embargo doesn’t work. We should open up trade to Cuba and show the Cuban people what freedom means. Castro is down there in Havana laughing at us. It’s been a collosal failure for so long, he’s now wearing an adult diaper and doesn’t know what time of day it is, but he’s still laughing at us. We should go down there and get him and lock him up. If I had been at the Bay of Pigs we would’ve take his a*# on the first day!
Walters: What would you like to say to President Obama about his healthcare legislation?
Judd*: Who in the hell is going to pay for all this crap? We’re $14 trillion in debt and you want to add another entitlement program? What have you been smokin’ dude? We ought to lock Obama up for being a real snake-oil salesman and mortgaging our children’s futures.
(*) These answers are of course made-up by me and don’t necessarily represent the views of Grady Judd — but they probably do.
Anyhow, you see how this would go. Grady Judd calls it like he sees it.
He’s just what Florida needs in the U.S. Senate.
I have taken the liberty of jump-starting his campaign for him by securing the URL JuddforUSSenate.com, which I will happily transfer to him for free if he decides to run. I also have the URL HaridopolosforUSSenate.com which I purchased for $7.97 last week. That one isn’t for sale, though I’d give it to Grady Judd’s campaign if they wanted it.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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