Javier Manjarres, known in political circles as the publisher of The Shark Tank blog, announced Sunday that he is considering a run for Congress.
Manjarres, who was named top national conservative blogger by the Conservative Political Action Committee in 2011, said he would continue to operate The Shark Tank while exploring a candidacy.
Whether Manjarres actually pulls the trigger on running – and Javier does have a propensity for pulling the trigger having been charged with attempted murder in March 2016 – he’s already won.
Because we’re talking about Javier. The prospect of Manjarres becoming the Hispanic version of Jonah Ryan was written about in Politico, the Tampa Bay Times, the Palm Beach Post and in several other outlets. So instead of stories about Manjarres’, um, checkered past sitting atop Google, reports about his exploring a run for the U.S. House (however a long-shot it may be) is what’s there.
Instead of automatically seeing his mugshot, now you see a photo of Manjarres in a chic suit.
Now, imagine if Manjarres actually does get in the race against popular Democrat incumbent Ted Deutch. What a score that will be for The Shark Tank.
“What if I am able to raise $1 million and spend $1 million in the district?” Manjarres told the Miami Herald.
District 22 includes Boca Raton and Highland Beach in Palm Beach County coastal Broward County from Fort Lauderdale north. The district voted 57 percent for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016.
And guess where that $1 million will go? To Manjarres’ political allies, as it should. Suddenly the blogger you paid to not give you any [expletive deleted] is paying you to produce direct mail and TV.
Because I’ve been such an outspoken critic in the past of Manjarres, there was an expectation that my head would explode upon hearing the news about Manjarres’ exploratory efforts.
But just as game respects game, hustle respects hustle.
Do I think Manjarres is an effective blogger? Not really. Not anymore at least. Most of what he writes is a loose aggregation of what he read in that day’s Politico Playbook. He does score some noteworthy, exclusive videos with Florida politicians. And, every now and then, he’ll catch lightning in a bottle.
But, no, he’s no longer a competitor in the blogosphere. You can just look at the ads up on The Shark Tank – or lack thereof – to know that.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect his hustle. And that’s what this is.
The blog business is slowing down for him, so why not take that shiny face and put it on a billboard?
Look at how Manjarres was able to get three prominent Florida Republicans – U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz, and Mario Diaz-Balart – to go on the record in support of his possible candidacy.
Deutch will beat Manjarres by 30 points but for Mr. Shark Tank, this is what winning looks like.
Peter Schorsch is the president of Extensive Enterprises and publisher of various new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. His column appears courtesy of FloridaPolitics.com.