Florida Dems Gather for Leadership Blue, Choose 'West Wing' Actor Bradley Whitford for Keynote

Leadership Blue, the annual gathering of Florida Dems, is being held this weekend in Miami, and they already seem to be floudering based on some of the available details on the conference.


In case you forgot, the Democrat Party in the Sunshine state is now led by new chair Nikki Fried. So, they’ve got that going for them—as least since February. Readers likely recall this is the same Nikki Fried who lost bigly to Charlie Crist in August 2022 in the Democrat gubernatorial primary race. Of course, as I wrote at the time, the one time-Republican (who can keep track of which party he’s in, really?) Crist then lost bigly to DeSantis in November’s midterms:

DeSantis went on to soundly defeat the Democrat in the midterms, 59 to 41 percent.

What else is going wrong at Leadership Blue? Let’s talk about who they picked as their conference’s keynote speaker.

West Wing actor and Broadway thespian Bradley Whitford.

Not to take anything away from Whitford, who garnered an Emmy Award for his role as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. (Unfortunate timing. Do Dems really want people thinking about the real-life West Wing of the White House right now?)

WFTS Tampa Bay reported on the start of the event, sharing a video of Fried explaining that the Dems’ tapping Whitford for the keynote speech was meant to send a message:

That it’s a new day for the people of our state, that we’re going to try something new, that we’re going to go back to the basics of recruiting candidates up and down the ballot.

We’re going to be focusing on messaging, focusing on talking to people in our state.


WFTS said that the chairwoman crowed about “the surprise mayoral victory in Jacksonville, the DNC’s revived committment to Florida, and the state’s rejection of what she considers a ‘radical Republican Party.’

Fried insisted: “November of 2022 is never going to happen again.”

It’s worth noting that as she spoke about the evil people on the other side of the aisle, a clip of Ron DeSantis was shown. And it’s nothing new for Fried to talk a big game about how much Democrats are going to win against her political nemesis (see the piece above, with Fried’s remarks after her win as chair). Which brings us to Hollywood actor Whitford and what he had to say Saturday about DeSantis.

Standing in front of media, flanked by Fried, Whitford said:

On Broadway, we call things like Ron DeSantis a show that’s gonna close out of town. He’s not playing [well]. In Florida, the policies — the radical policies he’s pursuing are not popular, and they’re not pro-life, and they’re not conservative.

I think the Democrats have a really unique opportunity, and I’ve seen it done before. I’m thrilled to be here.


As the people gathered in front of the podium begin clapping, Whitford makes a comment about bowing in the theater to get more applause. Not sure what that was for, but maybe he was trying to make a joke. Who knows?

Readers have heard these rote, progressive Democrat attacks on DeSantis and other conservative politicians ad nauseum. No need to debunk what’s total nonsense. I’ll just say this, in answer to his ridiculous rant: No, Gov. DeSantis’ policies are actually quite popular. It’s no accident that he won reelection in a landslide. And as I wrote earlier on Saturday, DeSantis is raking in tens of millions of dollars in donations, which is part of meeting the required Republican National Committee (RNC) benchmarks to appear in the first GOP primary debate in August. That isn’t the profile of someone who isn’t appealing to potential voters, especially conservative voters.

So, what is this all about, really? What we’re seeing here from the Democrats is their default mode, which is falling back on their interdependence on Hollywood to engage their base. When your side has nothing but failed policies and hatred for people who believe differently from you, this is all you have left. It’s a pathetic tactic, and shows when someone is out of ideas.


In journalist Marc Caputo’s tweet, he says that he’s hearing “a lot more DeSantis bashing than Trump bashing” at the conference—an observation we may hear more often as we move deeper in the primary season. Stay tuned.

For some reason, Whitford’s mention of Broadway/theater reminded me of the “Master Thespian,” a genius character by Jon Lovitz on the classic “Saturday Night Live” (when it was still good in the late 1980s). This skit below aired on November 22, 1986, and co-stars Dana Carvey and the late Phil Hartman (among others), and that week’s host, the late Robin Williams. Enjoy!


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