The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Sleeveless Candidate


Allen West has another Democratic challenger, departing West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel.

The Palm Beach Post examines her campaign’s strange sartorial obsession:

Frankel didn’t offer opinions on the stimulus bill, specific ways to address the national debt or what she thought about the situation in Libya. But she worked seven sleeve-rolling references into a 10-minute interview.

* “I just want to roll up my sleeves like I’ve done here in West Palm Beach and try to get a more vibrant economy here in South Florida.”

* “I’m not into the political bickering and the name-calling, really, just rolling up my sleeves. And I think that’s what we need — people who roll up their sleeves and solve problems.”

* “My approach as mayor has been to just roll up my sleeves, get things done. There’s a new vibrancy despite a very, very tough economy that’s all over the world today, but I believe West Palm Beach has a new vibrancy. It’s really been working with lots of other people where we just rolled up our sleeves to get things done.”

* “I have a very different point of view after being mayor for eight years. I love the nonpartisanship aspect of it. I’ve had Democrats and Republicans on my commission. I can’t say that we’ve never voted along party lines. We’ve identified problems and issues, we’ve rolled up our sleeves. Look, we don’t always get along but in the end it was about solving problems, creating economic vibrancy.”

* “So much of it is just, you know, you identify issues, you roll up your sleeves. I’m not running to be a national star. I am running just to be someone who’s going to work very hard for the people back home and right now the issue of the day is jobs, jobs, jobs and that’s what I’ll be focused on.”

Perhaps Vice President Biden will campaign for her, declaring that she’ll “literally roll up her sleeves.”

Expect a pugnacious campaign:

Charges against the son of Mayor Lois Frankel and a friend who were involved in a scuffle with a protestor during SunFest have been dropped, his attorney and father Richard Lubin said Friday.

Ben Lubin, 32, who left the service last year after tours of duty as a Marine captain in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his friend, Jason Elden, were charged by West Palm Beach police with strong-armed robbery. A man who joined police protestors outside at SunFest gate April 30 said the two pushed him and tried to take away his protest signs. Police held signs during the city’s annual music festival after the city denied a raise and eliminated step pay increases.

Self-described “media buyer” Jim Whelan had joined the police union protest that week carrying a sign that said: “Clean Up City Hall With Frankel Wipes.” He held a news conference the following Monday and said he thought the charges should be dropped.

“I understand now that he was upset that I was criticizing his mother,” Whelan said at the time. “. . . Mr. Lubin spent a night in jail, and that is as far as this should go. I will settle for a simple apology, and then put this matter to rest by dropping any and all charges.”

Tags: Allen West , Lois Frankel


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