by Javier Manjarres
Freshman Congressman Allen West has indicated that he would entertain a vice-presidential nod even as throngs of supporters are urging him to run for President- a ‘Draft Allen West for President’ initiative is already in full bloom. Congressman West has previously said that he is focused on being the best Congressman possible and that a Presidential run would not be up to him, it would be up to God and his wife. West has now started his own Leadership PAC, a surefire sign to many that he indeed has designs on higher office.
While the talk has been about Congressman West’s potential Presidential run, I’ll go out on a limb here and state a very winnable race for West would be the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Florida. At the moment, Senator Bill Nelson continues to be the ‘compromised Senator’ because of his pretty consistent support for President Barack Obama and his failed policies. While the Republican field has both strong prospective and announced candidates- Mike Haridopolos, Senator George LeMieux and Adam Hasner, an Allen West U.S.Senate candidacy would surely be the death blow to these campaigns.
Why? West has already proven that he is able to raise the millions needed to win a congressional race, and he could easily do so in a statewide race. Congressman West’s name ID is increasing everyday across the country through plenty of earned media appearances and memorable Youtube ‘performances’. Like Senator Marco Rubio, West has the ‘Tea Party’ and the base of the Republican party already sewn up- in addition to his burgeoning national support. If West were to jump in the Senate race either late this year or early next year, his national exposure would guarantee huge donations from Floridians and from Americans from across the country.
Factor in West’s motivational and inspirational speaking ability, an ability that in my opinion that is indeed “Reagan-like” with a little ‘cadence’, put him in car driving across the state, and you will see a repeat of the 2010 U.S. Senate race- Nelson would not stand a chance.
Speculating further, if West were to run for the Senate, it would leave his Congressional Seat up for grabs, but it would not be in jeopardy. A West run for Senate would open the door wide open for former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner who already has a high name ID within the congressional district from his days as a state legislator serving a district that covers much of West’s Congressional District 22. Congressman West and Hasner have a very good working relationship, and the two would undoubtedly work together to help solidify the congressional seat. Hasner is also a proven fundraiser in the heavily Jewish areas of the district and has the support of grassroots leaders including popular radio show host Joyce Kaufmann. And one last tidbit, let’s not forget that both men will receive the support of sitting Senator Marco Rubio- Rubio and Hasner have shared a close relationship since their days together in the Florida House of Representatives.
While this scenario is plausible, it’s still very much speculative. Only time will tell if West will be running for re-election in the 22nd Congressional District, making a run for Senate, entertaining a VEEP selection, or running for President if no one separates themselves from the fairly lackluster GOP field that is shaping up. Stay tuned…