This is a great topic we haven’t done in a while. We look at a photo from a couple of years back and break down the high rollers and events following.
In this photo from the Full Sail Hall of Fame Awards Dedication. We’ve got former Rep. Alan Grayson, former Commissioner Bill Segal, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Rep. Daniel Webster.
This is a great photo. What makes it interesting is that this photo was taken a short time after Webster’s late entry into the District 8 Congressional race against Grayson. This is the first time they met with the expectations that they would have to face each other in the general election. All four men in the photograph know this. You can see the “aww snap” expression on Segal and Atwater’s faces as the two men meet at a flashy event that had a red carpet and given the full Hollywood treatment.
What happened to all of the men in this photo?
Former Congressman Alan Grayson: Grayson was on top of the world when this photo was taken. He was one of the biggest fundraisers in the country and did it without the help of the Democratic party. He was collecting endorsements from movie stars like Martin Sheen and was making nightly appearances on the cable talkers. His antics on the house floor like “Republicans want you to Die Quickly” turned him into a hero to the far left, despite other events like calling a female lobbyist a “K-Street Whore”. A D.C reporter even offered a $100 dollar bounty to the man that would punch him out on Twitter. He was the heavy favorite even against Webster.
Then came the Taliban Dan ad, followed by a double digit loss to the Grandfather from Winter Garden.
Grayson continued making the rounds on the cable talkers after his loss and is back running in the new Hispanic-leaning D9. His warchest is restored and he’s unapologetic for any of his previous rhetoric, running once again on the far left. Recently he compared the favorability to President George W. Bush to that of a venereal disease.
Former Commissioner Bill Segal: He was running for Orange County Mayor when this photo was taken and did very well in fundraising and campaign messaging. He would have walked into the office if not for another late 2010 entry. Former Commissioner and current OC Mayor Teresa Jacobs entered the contest and a whirlwind of momentum quickly made the race hers. It would be Segal and Jacobs that would move into the November run-off to elect the next leader of Orange County. Segal’s campaign went negative and turned off the voters which, led to a quick election night victory for Jacobs.
Segal is still active on the political scene. He was “outfront” with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on the campaign trail leading to his recent re-election, and does local political radio commentary.
CFO Jeff Atwater: Then Senate President Atwater cruised to victory against Lorraine Ausley in the 2010 races, that saw Republicans sweep the cabinet and take the Governor’s mansion.
His star is still on the rise in Florida Politics. Widely considered a future Gubernatorial candidate, Atwater instead shortly considered a start-up U.S Senate campaign in the last few weeks before declining the calls in the party that wanted him to jump into the race last minute.
CFO isn’t the highest office Atwater will run for. We’ll all be waiting for what he’ll do next.
Congressman Daniel Webster: People still believe to this day that Webster didn’t want to jump into the high profile race against Grayson. There were already 7 candidates in the primary including another drafted candidate, businessman Bruce O’Donaghue. Still, Webster finally said yes and instantly became the frontrunner.
He never looked back.
Webster easily defeated the imploding Grayson campaign without going negative or stepping on the debate stage with his high profile rival. His first year and a half in Washington have gone well but he faces stiff opposition from former Orlando Chief of Police Val Demings in a district that the DNC wants back very badly.
This photo was taken almost two years ago and it felt like the energy level on the campaign trail was higher back then. Maybe that will change in the next few weeks. Who knows what photos will be analyzing two years from now?