So, let’s sum up the White House’s thinking on how to salvage the Florida Senate race, five days before the election. They had a choice between:
The guy who is a former state trooper, former state Democratic legislator, four-term Democratic Congressman, and the duly-chosen Democratic nominee for FL-SENblack; and
The guy who is a long-term Republican legislator and current governor of Florida who has shamelessly switched positions on every single ideological and/or political stance that might get him more voteswhite.
Which one do you think that they picked?
That’s right, they went with the white dude: they sent former President Clinton to try to get Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race, and apparently almost succeeded. Sure, the White House is claiming to not know anything about any of this – but then, they would. Alas, that argument doesn’t pass the smell test. The message was sent using Bill Clinton – and Clinton’s own people are confirming, on the record, that he was actively working to get Meek to drop – and that just doesn’t happen unless it’s cleared at the top. The very top*. Continue reading Clinton tried to get Meek out of FL-SEN race.
Kendrick Meek will never be on my Christmas card list; but he’s a better man than Charlie Crist. And I don’t want that assessment weakened by the fact that Crist is a duplicitous, two-faced mother[expletive deleted].
I’ve got a request for Kendrick Meek (D CAND, FL-SEN). Rep. Meek, please watch this week’s Republican response video by Marco Rubio:
…then show me what you’ve got to match that. Go right ahead and try to impress me. Because I heard that you’re just a legacy Congressman who got his job because your mommy didn’t want her seat anymore – and that you’ve never had to actually fight to keep that seat in a general election – which means that you’re so far in above your head right now that you’re touching the bottom of the pool. But, hey: I invite you to prove me wrong. So wow me, and more importantly, wow the Florida electorate.
If you can.
PS: Charlie, we already worked out that you had nothing when it comes to facing down Marco Rubio. Now hush: grownups talking.
OK, I’m no Lord [Pollington] [oops!], but let’s unpack the Mason-Dixon poll for FL-SEN – which is bad news for Charlie Crist, and seriously bad news for the Democratic party of Florida that everybody expects Crist to join, just as soon as he can manage. Below are the three major match-ups:
If the race is Marco Rubio for the GOP, Kendrick Meek for the Democrats, and Crist as the ‘independent,’ then the result is Rubio 38 / Crist 33 / Meek 18.
If the race is Rubio for the GOP, Jeff Greene for the Democrats, and Crist as the ‘independent,’ the result is Crist 39/ Rubio 38 / Greene 12.
…if the Democrats want to keep the R from the seat. If Meek gets the nomination, Marco Rubio wins; if Greene gets it, Crist picks up enough votes to make the race competitive. And, of course, if Crist wins he’ll then finish the project of becoming a Democrat. That was Arlen Specter’s mistake, you see: openly turning your coat will strike too many people as being too raw. Better by far to lie until after the election, and not give them the chance to complain for six years.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida shows Rubio with 38% of the vote and Crist at 33% if Congressman Kendrick Meek is the nominee. Meek earns 21%. Only one percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.
If billionaire Jeff Greene is the Democratic candidate, Crist gets 37% support to Rubio’s 36%, with Greene trailing at 20%. two percent (2%) like another candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party to run for Senate as an independent, has hired a top Senate Democrat’s former chief of staff.
In a just-released statement, Crist announced that his media team will be headed by Josh Isay, who used to work for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Schumer is a member of the Senate’s Democratic leadership team and once headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
More details here (H/T: Hot Air). The company is SKDKnickerbocker, and the anonymous Democrat who noted that this wouldn’t be happening without permission from the White House is quite correct: it wouldn’t be. Naturally, this means abandoning Kendrick Meek (interesting fun fact: he supported Hillary Clinton in the primary), but that’s no obstacle for the Democratic party, particularly since Meek is African-American anyway and thus assumed safe to be imposed upon*. Also naturally, you can assume that Crist will promise to caucus with the Democrats; even more naturally, you can assume that he’ll lie about that, too…
Mind you, all of this assumes that Crist can beat Marco Rubio. Click on that link to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I had originally titled this as “Democrats get their own Orange Guy in Florida,” but it isn’t fair to hold the tint control in Jeff Greene’s introductory video against him*. Greene is the Big Meanie who has just swooped into the Florida race to ruin Rep. Kendrick Meek’s and Senator Robert Menendez’s day; he’s got no real qualifications except having money, but he apparently makes up for that by having a lot of money. Enough money, in fact, that he’s telling people not to give more than $100 apiece: that translates to “I’m going to self-fund this windmill tilt.”
And that means, yeah, he doesn’t have a chance of getting the nomination. Not to be unnecessarily blunt about it, but the Democrats are not going to abandon their only African-American major candidate for Senator, and no matter that Meek was a sacrificial lamb in the first place; he’s their sacrificial lamb, darn it, and there are limits. Also, the fact that Greene so helpfully has used his own introductory video to give us an idea of what line of underhanded personal attacks to use against him in the primary** tells us that said attacks will be able to mine a rich vein of material. So I don’t expect this guy to win. But I expect that he’ll make the Democrats pay for that win.
If Crist really does declare an independent run this afternoon Sen. Cornyn of the NRSC will wind up looking foolish, true. Only thing is, Sen Menendez of the DSCC is going to end up looking even worse. He’s the one who recruited a candidate that Rasmussen has in third in a GOP split and who PPP reports is less popular than Crist. And now the DSCC actually has to go all-in on a bad fundraiser and an uninspiring candidate*. That’s bad enough in a year where they’re playing offense – which is to say, a year that’s not 2010. In short, the Democrats could have been walking into this the presumptive winner. Instead, they’re even now trying to figure out how to torpedo Charlie Crist themselves in order to maintain their shot at the seat.
*Not that the DSCC has very many inspiring ones this cycle, either. But Kendrick Meek is especially noteworthy in his blandness.
Nobody has much use for an equivocator. From the Politico’s article on Rangel’s ever-so-slowly increased isolation from House Democrats
Also on Wednesday night, Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., who is running for the Senate, chose not to sign a Black Caucus letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in support of Rangel.
Meek told POLITICO that his vote to refer the Rangel matter to the ethics panel was enough of a statement of his position.
“I’m not on every letter that the Black Caucus puts out,” Meek said. “I didn’t feel that it was something I had to break my neck on.”
This could have been Meek’s moment to shine. It was a chance for him to do something that might have caused a splash outside of his district; something that would have given him a couple of days’ worth of press for the novelty… and opportunities to fix his rather anemic poll standings right now. But no: he went for the ‘safe’ choice of not signing the letter, then downplaying it with a, well, meek murmur when the situation called for a loud roar.
This is the problem with inheriting your seat from your mother: it doesn’t teach you proper electoral instincts. Which is precisely what I like to see in candidates from political parties that aren’t mine.